Summary of Awards to Date

Transfer of antimicrobial resistance from bacterial contaminants to Campylobacter Spp.

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Oct. 1, 2008 - Sep. 30, 2010

Award Number


Funding Agency

Auburn University

Amount Awarded



Omar A. Oyarzabal, Ph.D.
Alabama State University


Liles, R.


The spread of antimicrobial resistance can be partially traced through the spread of resistance genes by the mobile elements carrying them and the bacterial hosts harboring these elements. Antimicrobial-producing microbes are the main donors of resistance genes to susceptible microorganisms. This theory is supported by the strong evidence that some of the most important resistance genes in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria have remarkable similarities. It is well-known that most of the antimicrobial producing bacteria have a soil origin. This is also the case with most of the Campylobacter-associated bacteria in broiler meat. The variation in the diversity of the bacterial community associated with retail broiler products has been reduced over the years. However, this bacterial community, which usually appears as contaminants in plate media used for isolation of Campylobacter spp., is comprised of Acinetobacter baumannii, A. lwoffi, Pseudomonas spp. and Staphylococcus hominis. Some of these bacteria, especially, Acinetobacter are found in diverse environments and include multi-drug resistant strains that are important for human health. In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of Campylobacter isolates from foods is important because it predicts the level of antimicrobial resistance of the isolate that may infect humans. AST is performed on infectious organisms that warrant antimicrobial chemotherapy if their susceptibility cannot be predicted in a reliable fashion. Because resistance patterns for Campylobacter have changed significantly over the years, there is a lack of predictability and the surveillance of antimicrobial susceptibility becomes imperative.