Current Microbiology

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 1081–1089 | Cite as

Characterization and Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance in Lactic Acid Bacteria from Fermented Food Products

  • Muhammad Nawaz
  • Juan Wang
  • Aiping Zhou
  • Chaofeng Ma
  • Xiaokang Wu
  • John E. Moore
  • B. Cherie Millar
  • Jiru XuEmail author


The study provides phenotypic and molecular analyses of the antibiotic resistance in lactic acid bacteria (LAB) from fermented foods in Xi’an, China. LAB strains (n = 84) belonging to 16 species of Lactobacillus (n = 73), and Streptococcus thermophilus (n = 11) were isolated and identified by sequencing their 16S rRNA gene. All strains were susceptible to ampicillin, bacitracin, and cefsulodin, and intrinsically resistant to nalidixic acid, kanamycin, and vancomycin (except L. bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, and S. thermophilus, which were susceptible to vancomycin). Some strains had acquired resistance for penicillin (n = 2), erythromycin (n = 9), clindamycin (n = 5), and tetracycline (n = 14), while resistance to gentamycin, ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, and chloramphenicol was species dependant. Minimum inhibitory concentrations presented in this study will help to review microbiological breakpoints for some of the species of Lactobacillus. The erm(B) gene was detected from two strains of each of L. fermentum and L. vaginalis, and one strain of each of L. plantarum, L. salivarius, L. acidophilus, L. animalis, and S. thermophilus. The tet genes were identified from 12 strains of lactobacilli from traditional foods. This is the first time, the authors identified tet(S) gene from L. brevis and L. kefiri. The erm(B) gene from L. fermentum NWL24 and L. salivarius NWL33, and tet(M) gene from L. plantarum NWL22 and L. brevis NWL59 were successfully transferred to Enterococcus faecalis 181 by filter mating. It was concluded that acquired antibiotic resistance is well dispersed in fermented food products in Xi’an, China and its transferability to other genera should be monitored closely.


Lactobacillus Erythromycin Lactic Acid Bacterium Nalidixic Acid Bacitracin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by higher education commission (HEC) of Pakistan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Nawaz
    • 1
  • Juan Wang
    • 1
  • Aiping Zhou
    • 1
  • Chaofeng Ma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaokang Wu
    • 1
  • John E. Moore
    • 3
  • B. Cherie Millar
    • 3
  • Jiru Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and Pathogenic Biology, Molecular Bacteriology Laboratory, Key Laboratory of Environment and Genes Related to Diseases of Chinese Ministry of Education, School of MedicineXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Xi’anXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Bacteriology, Northern Ireland Public Health LaboratoryBelfast City HospitalBelfastUK

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