Distribution and Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistant Pathogens in a Pig Farm, Slaughterhouse, Meat Processing Plant, and in Retail Stores

Dongryeoul Bae, Donah Mary Macoy, Waqas Ahmad, Son Peseth, Binn Kim, Jung Whan Chon, Gyeong Ryul Ryu, Ga Hee Ban, Sun Ae Kim, Hye Jeong Kang, Jin San Moon, Min Gab Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The emergence of antibiotic resistance in foodborne pathogens isolated from meat pro-ducts and their producing environment has been an increasing and leading threat to public health. The aim of the study was to identify pathogens and their antimicrobial resistance isolated from pig production to pork meat distribution phases. Through this study, food spoilage and foodborne or clinical pathogenic bacteria were isolated and identified from pork (belly and neck) meat product and its related environmental samples that include pig swabs, diets, feces, liquid manure, workers’ gloves, dust fan swabs, carcass swabs, floor swabs, and drain water in the affiliated farm, slaughterhouse, meat processing plant, and in retail stores. All carcasses at the slaughterhouse and meat products at the meat processing plant were tracked from pigs at a targeted farm. Nine different selective media agars were used to effectively isolate various pathogenic bacteria. A total of 283 presumptive pathogenic bacteria isolated from 126 samples were selected and identified using MALDI-ToF MS. Twenty-three important foodborne pathogens were identified, and some of them, Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Yersinia enterocolitica, were further confirmed using PCR. The PFGE patterns of 12 STEC isolates were grouped by sample source or site. All the foodborne pathogens used in the study were not resistant to amoxicillin/clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, and gentamicin, whereas some of the STEC, L. monocytogenes, and S. aureus isolates were resistant to various antibiotics, including ampicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, and vancomycin. The most common antimicrobial resistance pattern in the pathogenic STEC isolates was AMP-KAN-STR-SXT-TET. Consequently, this study provides valuable information for the distribution of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens along the pork meat production chain and can assist farmers and stakeholders to develop a systematic strategy for reducing the current emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in the different phases of pig production and distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2252
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

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  • distribution
  • environment
  • foodborne pathogens
  • pork
  • production


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