Chicken liver is a potential reservoir of bacteriophages and phage-derived particles containing antibiotic resistance genes
Poultry meat production is one of the most important agri-food industries in the world. The selective pressure exerted by widespread prophylactic or therapeutic use of antibiotics in intensive chicken farming favours the development of drug resistance in bacterial populations. Chicken liver, closely connected with the intestinal tract, has been directly involved in food-borne infections and found to be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, including Campylobacter and Salmonella. In this study, 74 chicken livers, divided into sterile and non-sterile groups, were analysed, not only for microbial indicators but also for the presence of phages and phage particles containing antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Both bacteria and phages were detected in liver tissues, including those dissected under sterile conditions. The phages were able to infect Escherichia coli and showed a Siphovirus morphology. The chicken livers contained from 103 to 106 phage particles per g, which carried a range of ARGs (blaTEM, blaCTx-M-1, sul1, qnrA, armA and tetW) detected by qPCR. The presence of phages in chicken liver, mostly infecting E. coli, was confirmed by metagenomic analysis, although this technique was not sufficiently sensitive to identify ARGs. In addition, ARG-carrying phages were detected in chicken faeces by qPCR in a previous study of the group. Comparison of the viromes of faeces and liver showed a strong coincidence of species, which suggests that the phages found in the liver originate in faeces. These findings suggests that phages, like bacteria, can translocate from the gut to the liver, which may therefore constitute a potential reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes.
619 - Veterinària
Wiley Open Access
Is part of
Blanco‐Picazo, Pedro, Clara Gómez‐Gómez, Sergi Aguiló‐Castillo, Dietmar Fernández‐Orth, Marta Cerdà‐Cuéllar, Maite Muniesa, and Lorena Rodríguez‐Rubio. 2022. "Chicken Liver Is A Potential Reservoir Of Bacteriophages And Phage‐Derived Particles Containing Antibiotic Resistance Genes". Microbial Biotechnology. doi:10.1111/1751-7915.14056.
Grant agreement number
MINECO/Programa Estatal de fomento de la investigación científica y técnica de excelencia/AGL2016-75536-P/ES/EVALUACION DE LOS BACTERIOFAGOS EN LA TRANSFERENCIA DE GENES DE RESISTENCIA A ANTIBIOTICOS EN ALIMENTOS/
MICINN/Programa Estatal de generación del conocimiento y fortalecimiento científico y tecnológico del sistema I+D+I y Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/PID2020-113355GB-I00/ES/EXPLORANDO EL POTENCIAL DEL INDICADOR DE CONTAMINACION FECAL HUMANA CRASSPHAGE EN ALIMENTOS Y AGUAS CONTAMINADAS FECALMENTE/
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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