Dissemination of carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae and associated resistance determinants through global food systems

Richard Harding-Crooks, Darren Smith, Séamus Fanning, Edward Fox*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Antimicrobial agents are a critical component of modern healthcare systems, fulfilling a core function in patient care and improving individual patient outcomes and consequently overall public health. However, the efficacy of antimicrobial interventions is being consistently eroded by the emergence and dissemination of various antimicrobial resistance (AMR) mechanisms. One highly valued class of antimicrobial compounds is carbapenems, which retain efficacy in treating most multidrug-resistant infections and are considered “last line” agents. Therefore, recent trends in proliferation of carbapenem resistance (CR) via dissemination of carbapenemase-encoding genes among members of the Enterobacteriaceae family pose a significant threat to public health. While much of the focus relating to this has been on nosocomial environments, community-acquired carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) infections and their associated transmission routes are less well studied. Among these community-associated vectors, the role of food chains and contaminated foods is important, since Enterobacteriaceae occupy niches within these settings. This review examines foodborne CPE transmission by exploring how interactions within and between food, the food chain, and agriculture not only promote and disseminate CPE, but also create reservoirs of mobile genetic elements that may lead to further carbapenemase gene proliferation both within and between microbial communities. Additionally, recent developments regarding the global occurrence and molecular epidemiology of CPEs in food chains will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2706-2727
Number of pages22
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Issue number4
Early online date21 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

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