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ABSTRACT

Food contact surface poses a threat of becoming a vector for the transmission of Staphylococcus aureus to food and to other food contact surfaces that may lead to food poisoning. S. aureus adheres to these surfaces, forms biofilms that enhance its capacity to survive food-related environments such as refrigeration, salinity, acidity and sanitization. The resistant biofilm-adhered cells can detach from the surface and easily contaminate food as it passes the surfaces bearing the toxins with them. In Malaysia, S. aureus has been isolated from food service environment but their survival against antibiotics was not investigated. The study aims to isolate and determine the presence of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from cleaned food contact surfaces. This evaluates the capability of S. aureus strains, isolated from solid surfaces at 45 food premises in Sri Serdang, Selangor including UPM resistance toward five different classes of antibiotics. The antibiotic susceptibility of the isolates will be determined using disc diffusion method on Muller Hinton Agar (MHA) and Nutrient Agar (NA) at 37ºC incubation temperature. The study would also assess the effects of antibiotic susceptibility on S. aureus from food contact surfaces. It is expec   ted that the survival of S. aureus on food contact surfaces provides a fundamental knowledge on their resistance against antibiotics towards improving strategies to prevent food contamination.

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1. Introduction

Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive bacterial known as a major human pathogen causing a wide range infection. It was capable in emerging biofilms formation mainly on the food processing surfaces. This would lead to the pathway of foods cross contamination (Ciccio et al., 2015). Enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus is one of the bacteria that produce enterotoxin (Schelin et al., 2011). An occurrence of enterotoxigenic S. aureus in food caused one the most frequent microbial diseases which known as Gastroenteritis. Staphylococcal food poisoning caused by the enterotoxigenic producing S. aureus which is main foodborne disease throughout the world (Argudín et al., 2010). The high prevalence of the staphylococci in animal source raw foods demands effectiveness in processing for safety. However, the staphylococcal intoxication endures a very popular food poisoning. Ciccio et al., (2015) stated that the food contact surfaces with the presence of S. aureus are respected as a health threat.            

The lack of hygiene practices among food handlers can particularly during preparation contaminate food-contact surfaces such as cutting boards and these have been found to be the major factors involved in the contamination of food products (DeVita et al., 2007; Sattar et al., 2001; Simon and Sanjeev, 2007). In Malaysia, antibiotic resistant S. aureus have been reported from dairy products (Sasidharan et al., 2011), foods and nares of food handlers (Noor-Azira et al. 2012) and food handlers hand at food service premises (Tan et al., 2014), but their survival on food contact surfaces and resistance to disinfectants was not investigated.

Staphylococcus aureus is infamous with the ability to become antibiotics resistant. Resistant strains toward antibiotic usually caused an infection that occurred in epidemic effect initiated by one or a few successful clones. Chambers and DeLeo (2009) stated that Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is obviously appeared during these epidemics. Historically related with healthcare settings, MRSA presently has occurred as an extensive cause of public infections. Supposed community or community-associated MRSA spreads promptly among individuals with good health. There is the reason for concern since the MRSA can freely become resistant to multiple antibiotics, thus limiting the treatment options.

Staphylococcus aureus is biologically susceptible to almost in every antibiotic that has ever been developed. Resistance is often acquired by horizontal transfer from external sources to the genes, though the antibiotic selection and mutation for chromosomal are also important. This exquisite susceptibility of S. aureus headed to penicillin discovery by Alexander Fleming’s, leading in the “antibiotic era”. Penicillin was greatly a miracle drug that consistently fatal infections could be cured. Nevertheless, by the mid-1940s, penicillin resistance was encountered in hospitals after only a few years it introduced into clinical practice and afterward within a decade it had become a significant problem in the community. Consequently, S. aureus is remarkable in its ability to acquire resistance to any antibiotic.

The study aims were to isolate and identify biochemical test positive including coagulase test positive staphylococci from cleaned food contact surfaces among food premises area in Sri Serdang, Selangor. After isolation and identification, the aim was to check the antibiotics susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus by testing the presence of inhibition zone around the antibiotic disc.

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