Camel meat is a significant source of animal protein in many African and Asian countries. It is considered much healthier than other meat animals due to less fat and lower levels of cholesterol. Also, it has a similar taste and texture to beef. It has been reported that antibiotics and hormones are not used at sub-therapeutic or therapeutic doses in these animals, unlike other food animals. Further, data suggest that gut flora in camels may not be exposed to the same selective pressures resulting in resistant strains. However, Listeria monocytogenes responsible for human gastroenteritis are found to be distributed widely in foods, particularly meat. Recently reports have indicated antibiotic resistance in Listeria spp. Thus an effort has been made in the present study to understand the distribution of L. in camel meat and its resistance profile. The reason for choosing L. monocytogenes seems very valid because of the multiple diseases that this species can cause viz. meningoencephalitis, meningitis, septicemia in immunocompromised individuals, newborns, and the elderly, and abortion and stillbirth in pregnant women. A total of 50 samples of raw camel meat were purchased from local retail supermarkets located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The methodology included isolation, identification of the microbe via genomic DNA extraction, PCR, biochemical identification, and antibiotic profile for Listeria spp. Of the total, Listeria spp. was recovered from 32% of the total tested samples (16 of 50 samples), and L.monocytogenes constituted 50% of the Listeria spp. Luckily, the susceptibility to antibiotics reached 100% with β-lactam (ampicillin and amoxicillin), followed by cyclic peptides (tetracycline), then sulfonamide as (sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim), Macrobid (erythromycin), fluoroquinolone as ciprofloxacin, oxazolidine as linezolid, and chloramphenicol (chloramphenicol) and glycopeptide (vancomycin). Generally, the overall incidence of antibiotic resistance in L. monocytogenes is relatively low in the present study.
It may be suggested that the appropriate use of antibiotics in these animals is one of the major reasons for the susceptible profile of Listeria species. Of course, further studies using more meat samples can throw light on the assumption made and can set an example for prudent use of antibiotics.
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