The presence of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes was determined in 55 samples of organic poultry meat and in 61 samples of conventional poultry meat. A total of 220 E. coli, 192 S. aureus, and 71 L. monocytogenes strains were analyzed by an agar disk diffusion assay for their resistance to ampicillin, cephalothin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, fosfomycin, gentamicin, nitrofurantoin, streptomycin, and sulfisoxazole (E. coli); chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, doxycycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, nitrofurantoin, oxacillin, and sulfisoxazole (S. aureus); and chloramphenicol, doxycycline, erythromycin, gentamicin, sulfisoxazole, and vancomycin (L. monocytogenes). The results indicated a significantly higher (P < 0.0001) prevalence of E. coli but not of S. aureus and L. monocytogenes in organic poultry meat as compared with conventional poultry meat. E. coli isolated from organic poultry meat exhibited lower levels of antimicrobial resistance against 7 of the 10 antimicrobials tested as compared with isolates recovered from conventional meat. In the case of S. aureus and L. monocytogenes isolated from conventional poultry, antimicrobial resistance was significantly higher only for doxycycline as compared with strains isolated from organic poultry. In the case of E. coli, the presence of multiresistant strains was significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in conventional poultry meat as compared with organic poultry meat. Organically farmed poultry samples showed significantly lower development of antimicrobial resistance in intestinal bacteria such as E. coli.
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