Grass-fed and organic beef products make up a growing share of the beef market in the United States. While processing, animal handling, and farm management play large roles in determining the safety of final beef products, grass-fed beef products are often marketed as safer alternatives to grain-finished beef products based on the potential effects of all-forage diets on host microbiota. We conducted a series of experiments examining bacterial contamination rates in 50 beef products labeled as "grass-fed" versus 50 conventionally raised retail beef products. Coliform concentrations did not differ between conventional and grass-fed beef (conventional: 2.6 log(10) CFU/mL rinsate; grass-fed: 2.7 log(10) CFU/mL rinsate). The percentages of Escherichia coli positive samples did not differ between the two groups (44% vs. 44%). Enterococcus spp. were frequently isolated from both grass-fed beef products (44%) and conventional beef products (62%; p = 0.07). No Salmonella or E. coli O157:H7 isolates were recovered from any of the meat samples. Enterococcus spp. isolates from conventional beef were more frequently resistant to daptomycin and linezolid (p < 0.05). Resistance to some antimicrobials (e.g., chloramphenicol, erythromycin, flavomycin, penicillin, and tetracyline) was high in Enterococcus spp. isolated from both conventional and grass-fed beef. There were no differences in the percentages of antimicrobial resistant E. coli isolates between the two groups. Taken together, these data indicate that there are no clear food safety advantages to grass-fed beef products over conventional beef products.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli, being an important part of normal intestinal flora, is a frequent carrier of antimicrobial drug resistance markers and food is the most important vector of antimicrobial resistance genes between humans and animals. The aim of this study was to confirm the presence and frequency of resistance markers in Escherichia coli from intestinal flora and from food as an indicator of antimicrobial resistance level in the population. The experiment included 100 fecal Escherichia coli isolates from healthy donors, 50 isolated in 2007 and 50 in 2010, and 50 from food samples. The resistance markers were found in all groups of isolates. The resistance to ampicillin and cotrimoxazole was most commonly found. The finding of multi-drug-resistant strains and resistance to ciprofloxacin is important. The frequency of resistance markers was similar in food and feces. The results of this study show the need to introduce systematic monitoring of antimicrobial resistance of these bacteria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pre-eclampsia is characterized by increased lipid peroxidation and diminished antioxidant capacity. The aim of the study was to establish concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances as a marker of lipid peroxidation in normal pregnancies and in pregnancies complicated with pre-eclampsia, and to estimate the possibility of using thiobarbituric acid reactive substances as a screening method for development of pre-eclampsia. The study was conducted at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Clinical Centre of Vojvodina. The study included 57 singleton pregnancies, gestation > or = 24 weeks, of which 29 were healthy pregnancies and 28 were with pre-eclampsia, defined as systolic arterial pressure of > or = 90 mmHg, diastolic of > or = 145 mmHg, and 24h proteinuria of > or = 300 mg. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances concentrations evaluated by malondialdehyde equivalent standards (OxiSelect TBARS Assay Kit (malondialdehyde Quantitation), Cell Biolabs' OxiSelect) showed that oxidative stress was more evident in the group with pre-eclampsia, though not statistically significant (p = 0.107). There was no correlation ofthiobarbituric acid reactive substance levels with gestation in either group. The differences between the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance concentrations in pre-eclampsia and healthy pregnancies indicate the possibility of using thiobarbituric acid reactive substances as a screening tool for the development of pre-eclampsia. Further studies with larger numbers of patients are needed in order to come to final conclusions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the United States, products from chickens that were not administered antimicrobial medications during growout can contain labels stating "no antibiotics added." Here we compared microbial profiles of chicken products labeled as coming from birds raised without antimicrobial medications (N=201; NON) with chicken products carrying conventional labels (N=201; CONV). There were no differences in percentages of samples positive for Enterococcus spp. (CONV: 17.4%; NON: 21.3%) or Escherichia coli (CONV: 25.9%; NON: 22.3%). The number of samples positive for Salmonella was low in both groups, but statistically higher in the NON samples (5.0%) versus CONV samples (1.5%; p<0.05). Conversely, CONV samples contained higher concentrations of coliforms (CONV: 3.0 log(10)CFU/mL; NON: 2.5 log(10)CFU/mL; p<0.05). E. coli (N=190) and Enterococcus spp. isolates (N=113) were tested for resistance to common antimicrobials. E. coli isolates from CONV samples were more frequently resistant to at least one antimicrobial (CONV: 61.3%; NON: 41.2%; p<0.05). Enterococcus spp. isolates from both groups were equally likely to be resistant to at least one antimicrobial, but Enterococcus spp. isolates from CONV samples were more likely to be resistant to erythromycin, kanamycin, and gentamicin (p<0.05). Taken together, these data suggest that NON samples may more frequently carry Salmonella; however, E. coli and Enterococcus spp. found on CONV are more likely to be resistant to some antimicrobials.
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