Short Communication

A preliminary study: Antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus from the meat and faeces of various South African wildlife species

Michaela Sannettha van den Honert1,*, Pieter Andries Gouws1, Louwrens Christiaan Hoffman2
Author Information & Copyright
1Centre for Food Safety, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa.
2Department of Animal Science, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa.
*Corresponding Author: Michaela van den Honert, Centre for Food Safety, Department of Food Science, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa. E-mail:

© Copyright 2020 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Jun 22, 2020 ; Revised: Jul 24, 2020 ; Accepted: Jul 30, 2020

Published Online: Aug 05, 2020


This study determined the antibiotic resistance patterns of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus from the raw meat and faeces of three game species from three different farms across South Africa. The Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method was used according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute 2018 guidelines. E. coli was tested against ampicillin, ceftazidime, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulphafurazole and tetracycline. S. aureus was tested against tetracycline, erthromycin, vancomycin, penicillin, oxacillin and cefoxitin. There were no significant differences in the E. coli antibiotic resistance profiles between the meat and faecal samples (except towards ceftazidime where 5% of the meat isolates were resistant and 0% of the faecal isolates). The S. aureus meat isolates showed high (75%) resistance towards penicillin and on average, 13% were resistant to oxacillin/ cefoxitin, indicating methicillin resistance. The results from this study indicate that there is incidence of antibiotic resistant bacteria from the faeces and meat of wildlife species across South Africa, suggesting that cross contamination of the meat occurred during slaughter by antibiotic resistant bacteria from the abattoir personnel or equipment and or from carcass faecal matter. In addition, the results highlight the importance of food safety and hygiene procedures during slaughter to prevent cross-contamination of antibiotic resistant bacteria, as well as pathogens, onto raw meat.

Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; game; bacteria; pathogen