Antimicrobial resistance in food-associated Escherichia coli in Mexico and Latin America

Lorena Babines-Orozco, María Guadalupe Balbuena-Alonso, Edwin Barrios-Villa, Patricia Lozano-Zarain, Ygnacio Martínez-Laguna, Rosa Del Carmen Rocha-Gracia*, Gerardo Cortés-Cortés*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The World Health Organization (WHO) considers antimicrobial resistance to be one of the critical global public health priorities to address. Escherichia coli is a commensal bacterium of the gut microbiota in humans and animals; however, some strains cause infections and are resistant to antibiotics. One of the most common ways of acquiring pathogenic E. coli strains is through food. This review analyzes multidrug-resistant E. coli isolated from food, emphasizing Latin America and Mexico, and the mobile genetic elements (MGEs) responsible for spreading antibiotic resistance determinants among bacteria in different environments and hosts. We conducted a systematic search of the literature published from 2015 to 2022 in open access databases and electronic repositories. The prevalence of 11 E. coli pathotypes was described, with diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes being the most frequently associated with foodborne illness in different Latin American countries, highlighting the presence of different antibiotic resistance genes mostly carried by IncF-type plasmids or class 1 integrons. Although the global incidence of foodborne illness is high, there have been few studies in Mexico and Latin America, which highlights the need to generate updated epidemiological data from the “One Health” approach, which allows monitoring of the multidrug-resistance phenomenon in E. coli from a common perspective in the interaction of human, veterinary, and environmental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-12
Number of pages9
JournalBioscience of Microbiota, Food and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

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© This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd) License. (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0:


  • Escherichia coli
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • food


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