(HealthDay News) — Foodborne transmission from retail meat may account for a substantial proportion of community-acquired urinary tract infection (UTI), according to a study presented Oct. 6 at IDWeek, the combined annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, being held Oct. 4 to 8 in San Diego.

Reina Yamaji, MD, PhD, MPH, from the University of California at Berkeley, and colleagues collected 1020 urine samples from patients with UTI. They also recovered E. coli from 200 retail meat products (chicken breast, ground turkey, ground beef, and pork chops) collected as part of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System Food and Drug Administration retail meat sampling program in northern California (September 2016 through May 2017).

The researchers found that E. coli was isolated from 21% of the urine samples. In 60% of these isolates, five pandemic MLST genotypes (ST95, ST127, ST69, ST73, and ST131) were found. E. coli was isolated from 38% of meat samples (29 of 40 ground turkey samples, 34 of 80 chicken breast samples, 7 of 40 ground beef samples, and 6 of 40 pork chop samples). Three chicken samples contained ST69 and ST131. Other E. coli isolate genotypes seen in both the meat and urine samples included ST10 (three), ST38 (two), ST88 (one), ST117 (five), ST906 (one), and ST1844 (one). Nearly one-third (32%) of 34 chicken samples contained uropathogenic E. coli strains.

“Additional studies are needed to demonstrate transmission of these genotypes from poultry to patients and to target possible prevention measures,” conclude the authors.

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