Multi-Drug and β-Lactam resistance in Escherichia Coli and Food-Borne Pathogens from animals and food in Portugal

Miguel Mendes Costa, Miguel Cardo, Patricia Soares, Maria Cara D’anjo, Andreia Leite

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Animal and food sources are seen as a potential transmission pathway of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to humans. The aim of this study is to describe Campylobacter, Salmonella, and commensal Escherichia coli multi-drug resistance (MDR) in the food chain between 2014 and 2019 in Portugal. AMR surveillance data from food-producing animals and food were assessed. MDR relative frequencies were estimated by bacterial genus and year. AMR profiles were created using ob-servations of resistance to antimicrobial classes from each isolate. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing results were clustered using k-modes. Clusters were described by population, AMR classification, β-lactamases, sample stage, sample type, season, and year. Overall, MDR was more prevalent for E. coli, ranging from 74–90% in animal and 94–100% in food samples. MDR was found to be more widespread in resistance profiles that were common among E. coli and Salmonella isolates and in those exclusively observed for E. coli, frequently including (fluoro)quinolones and cephalosporins resistance. β-lactam resistance was observed around 75% to 3rd/4th-generation cephalosporins in E. coli. Clusters suggest an escalating MDR behaviour from farm to post-farm stages in all bacteria and that Salmonella (fluoro)quinolones resistance may be associated with broilers. These findings support policy and decision making to tackle MDR in farm and post-farm stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Food safety
  • Food-producing animals
  • Multi-drug resistance
  • Surveillance
  • Zoonotic bacteria


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