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Listeria monocytogenes is well-known globally as one of the most significant foodborne bacterial pathogens. Listeriosis may trigger life-threatening illness, such as severe sepsis, meningitis, sometimes resulting in lifelong harm and even death. This study aimed to determine the occurrence and antibiotic resistance pattern of L. monocytogenes in red meats sold at retail outlets in Erbil city, Kurdistan region, Iraq. Three hundred and seventy-five (375) samples were aseptically collected from retail meat shops between July and December 2018. For isolation of L. monocytogenes, samples were cultured on selective media and tested for their susceptibility to common antibiotics by disk diffusion assay. The results revealed that the overall occurrence of L. monocytogenes in red meat samples was 13.9%. Warm season was associated with increase in L. monocytogenes occurrence. The results of antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that 98.1%, 94.2%, and 82.7% of isolates were resistant to Streptomycin, Gentamicin, and Ampicillin respectively. This resistance pattern of L. monocytogenes is critically alarming owing to the aforementioned antibiotics are the drugs of choice of treatment of listeriosis. This level of resistance requires further investigations and effective countermeasures since it may pose a public health hazard.
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