Prevalence of MRSA and Antimicrobial Resistance of Staphylococcus aureus in Maryland Ground Meat Products
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of exposure to antimicrobial-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from food-grade raw ground meat products in Maryland. Samples of ground beef (n = 198), pork (n = 300), and turkey (n = 196), were collected by random sampling from March-August, 2008. All isolates were tested for resistance to methicillin and confirmed S. aureus isolates (n = 200) were tested for susceptibility to 21 additional antimicrobials. Overall, turkey- and pork-derived isolates were more likely to be resistant to commonly used antimicrobials. One isolate from pork was confirmed to be the USA100 strain of MRSA and was resistant to 10 antibiotics. In addition, antibiotic-resistant non-S. aureus isolates were characterized and may represent a source for the transfer of resistance genes to S. aureus. Our findings suggest that meat production practices may impact the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of S. aureus in ground meat.