Most starter cultures belong to the lactic acid bacteria group (LAB) and recognized as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). However, LAB may act as intrinsic or extrinsic reservoirs for antibiotic resistance (AR) genes. This fact may not constitute a safety concern itself, as the resistance gene transfer is vertical. Nevertheless, external genetic elements may induce changes that favor the horizontal transfer transmission of resistance from pathogens as well as from the human intestinal microbiota, which represents a severe safety issue. Some genus of AR LAB includes Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Pediococcus, and Streptococcus isolated from fermented meat and milk products. Currently, the WHO recommends that LAB used in the food industry should be free of resistance. Therefore, the objective of this chapter is to present an overview of the LAB antibiotic resistance and some methods to determine the same.
Part of the book: Antimicrobial Resistance