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Assessing the impact of heat treatment on antimicrobial resistant (AMR) genes and their potential uptake by other ‘live’ bacteria

TEC Partnership
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The objective of this critical review of the scientific literature is to enhance knowledge on the impact of heat treatment on AMR genes and their potential uptake by other bacteria. Particularly, it is important to understand whether cooking food to eliminate bacterial contamination, can also induce sufficient damage to AMR genes to prevent their uptake by surrounding viable bacteria present in other settings including the human gut. This information will improve our understanding in assessing whether cooking food to destroy bacteria also effectively prevents the spread of AMR genes via food. The work will also help to improve our understanding of evidence concerning the effects of different cooking methods on AMR genes and their transfer from food to humans and to indicate whether the use of milder cooking methods compared to thorough cooking (70°C for 2 mins or equivalent) encourages more effective transfer of AMR genes via food. This work will also provide an indication whether further research may be warranted. The work will be approached as follows: Literature search: A structured literature search of appropriate bibliographic databases and sources will be carried out in order to compile a broad data set of as many potentially relevant articles. Article screening: Will screen the compiled data set of potentially relevant articles in order to select important articles for data extraction. Data extraction and analysis: Will extract and analyse pertinent data from the articles that have been selected as clearly relevant. Data synthesis and review completion: Will synthesise the extracted data from articles into a formal review report in order to establish what existing data and understanding there is on the impact of heat treatment on AMR genes that may be present in heat-killed foodborne bacteria and their potential uptake by other ‘live’ bacteria in the human gut and other foods.
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Project number
Bacterial Pathogens
Food Preparation and Handling