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Establishment of a National Facility for Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria from Foods; Development of a National Archiving Facility for Such Organisms
Thursday 30 September 2004

Health Protection Agency
Start date
End date
This research project aims at providing a reference service for

1) determination of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns in microorganisms from foods collected in the course of microbiological food surveillance studies and

2) providing a depository and archiving service for them.

  • Full assessment of Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) methodology for all organisms under test. The method used will be in accordance with the HPA Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) for antibiotic sensitivity testing and will involve growth of the respective organisms on doubling dilutions of the respective antibiotics incorporated into agar plates. Full MIC determination for antimicrobials for all strains submitted. Recording and archiving of results.
  • Maintenance of strain characteristics for all organisms and access for reference purposes or for future investigations are ensured by using cryovials stored at -85°C. Strain details are readily accessible and are maintained on a computerised database.
More information
In the report of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), on Microbial Antibiotic Resistance in Relation to Food Safety, it became apparent that information on occurrence of resistance in microorganisms from food was limited.

Problems in comparing data because of difference in the methodology and differences in the perception of resistance or sensitivity to certain key antimicrobials also arose.

This study will provide a reference service for the determination of antibiotic susceptibility profiles in isolates of Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter spp, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. from foods, and also in other foodborne microorganisms as appropriate- e.g. Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococci, etc. It will also provide an archived depository of drug-resistant microorganisms from this investigation, or isolated as a result of surveys, or from other sources for future investigations.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number