Although Vietnamese residents frequently harbor extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-E), it is unclear which foods/beverages are risk factors for acquiring these bacteria. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency with which edible ice served in restaurants is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and thereby clarify whether this product poses a risk for ESBL-E carriage in humans. Ice from restaurants in Vietnam and Japan was screened for bacteria capable of growing on agar containing cefotaxime (BG-CTX). Of the 119 BG-CTX strains isolated in Vietnam, 40%, 39%, and 12% were identified as Pseudomonas spp., Acinetobacter spp., and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, respectively. Meanwhile, of the six such strains isolated in Japan, five were identified as Acinetobacter spp. and one as Pseudomonas spp. More than 10% of the Acinetobacter isolates exhibited cefotaxime, ceftazidime, and sulfa/trimethoprim resistance, while 21% of Pseudomonas and 14% of S. maltophilia isolates exhibited meropenem and sulfa/trimethoprim resistance, respectively. Subsequent multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses detected ESBL-encoding genes in 10% of the BG-CTX. Notably, feces harvested from mice administered water contaminated with BG-CTX contained E. coli harboring the blaCTX-M-9 gene. In conclusion, our findings indicate that consumption of contaminated edible ice is a risk factor for human ESBL-E carriage.

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