African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5232

Full Length Research Paper

Frequency of antibiotic resistant Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus aureus in meat in Saudi Arabia

Kay Greeson1, Gamaleldin M. Suliman2, Ahmed Sami2, Abdullah Alowaimer2 and Mohammad Koohmaraie1,2*
1IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, 15300 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, Seattle, WA 98155, USA. 2College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, P. O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451Saudi Arabia
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 January 2013
  •  Published: 31 January 2013


This study was undertaken to estimate the prevalence of antibiotic resistance inSalmonella spp.Escherichia coliEnterococcus spp. and Staphylococcus aureus in meat in Saudi Arabia. Samples of domestic and imported meat (beef, camel, lamb) and poultry were purchased from local retail outlets in Riyadh area. There was some contamination from each of the bacteria in all types of meat analyzed, with E. coli being the most prevalent overall at 72.2%, Enterococcus prevalence was 26.2%, S. aureusprevalence was 24.6% and  Salmonella prevalence was 10.7%. Additionally, these bacteria were resistant to a number of antibiotics and some were multidrug resistant. S. aureus and Enterococcus were both either resistant or intermediate to Erythromycin (79 and 86%, respectively).  E. coli was resistant to Ampicillin (44%). Salmonella was resistant to Ceftiofur (67%). Bacterial contamination of meat is a multi-country problem and consideration should be made to improve methods of decontaminating food animals and work surfaces during meat processing to reduce the levels of bacteria that are transferred to the finished product. This will also help to decrease the growing crisis of bacterial antibiotic resistance.


Key words: Foodborne pathogens, antibiotic resistance, food animals, meat