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Analysis of Bacillus cereus toxicity using PCR, ELISA and a lateral flow device

Tallent, S.M., Hait, J.M., Bennett, R.W.
Journal of applied microbiology 2015 v.118 no.4 pp. 1068-1075
Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, food defense, food supply chain, foods, polymerase chain reaction, public health, rapid methods, toxicity, toxins
AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of immunodetection methods and PCR analysis of enterotoxigenic Bacillus cereus strains. METHODS AND RESULTS: Eighty‐eight enterotoxigenic B. cereus group strains linked to food‐borne outbreaks and illnesses were studied with 30 exclusivity nonenterotoxigenic strains including Bacillus amyoliquifaciens, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and Escherichia coli for this assessment. The PCR results showed 80% agreement with immunoassays for the Nhe target and 84% for the Hbl product. All exclusivity strains were PCR and serologically negative. CONCLUSIONS: PCR has proven to be a valuable tool when used in conjunction with immunoassays to quickly identify enterotoxigenic B. cereus group strains. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study assessed the utility of rapid methods to characterize enterotoxigenic profiles of B. cereus group strains. The identification of enterotoxigenic bacteria and any associated toxins detected from food products is essential in food defense programs as public health officials search for methods to rapidly and accurately screen a global food supply.