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Investigation of Alternative Biocidal Options against Foodborne Multidrug Resistant Pathogens

Foodborne diseases represent a significant threat to public health safety, with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reporting Campylobacter, Listeria and Enterobacteriaceae, primarily E. coli and Salmonella, as the most frequent cause of illness. At the same time the waged war against antibiotic resistant superbugs continues, where patient cases are becoming more prevalent and medically difficult to treat, as pathogens acquire different combination mechanisms to resist conventional antimicrobial therapy. Antimicrobial resistance arises from the misuse of antibiotics, where their prolonged use in the medical sector exerts selective pressure on bacteria. However, a lesser known route lies within the food chain where MDR bacteria can be derived from food-producing animals or from cross-contamination during food processing. To mitigate disease incidence, the EU currently endorse a “fork to farm” approach, highlighting the necessity for prevention and control measures throughout the entire food chain, including safe handling by the consumers themselves. Biocides play a critical role in limiting the spread of infectious disease. Indeed, the food industry is dependent on these agents, where risk of toxic residual levels in foodstuffs and reduced susceptibility to biocides (namely that of QACs and chlorine), coupled with the potential for the development of a phenotype of cross-resistance to clinically important antimicrobials are prominent causes for concern. Studies conducted investigate the activity of two novel disinfectant compounds, peracetic acid, triameen in comparison to BAC against a variety of foodborne pathogens. Findings suggest that both novel test agents may be suitable disinfectants for use in food, agricultural, and veterinary areas, where all MDR species were susceptible to treatment. In particular, peracetic acid offers promising prospects, being further capable of inactivating Bacillus spores while concomitantly being an eco-friendlier alternative.

Author(s): Elaine Meade, Micheal Savage  and Mary Garvey

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