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The Food Poisoning Toxins of Bacillus cereus

Department of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Schönleutnerstr. 8, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany
Department of Pathobiology, Functional Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria
Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, 1432 Ås, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Received: 7 December 2020 / Revised: 14 January 2021 / Accepted: 25 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacillus cereus Toxins)
Bacillus cereus is a ubiquitous soil bacterium responsible for two types of food-associated gastrointestinal diseases. While the emetic type, a food intoxication, manifests in nausea and vomiting, food infections with enteropathogenic strains cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. Causative toxins are the cyclic dodecadepsipeptide cereulide, and the proteinaceous enterotoxins hemolysin BL (Hbl), nonhemolytic enterotoxin (Nhe) and cytotoxin K (CytK), respectively. This review covers the current knowledge on distribution and genetic organization of the toxin genes, as well as mechanisms of enterotoxin gene regulation and toxin secretion. In this context, the exceptionally high variability of toxin production between single strains is highlighted. In addition, the mode of action of the pore-forming enterotoxins and their effect on target cells is described in detail. The main focus of this review are the two tripartite enterotoxin complexes Hbl and Nhe, but the latest findings on cereulide and CytK are also presented, as well as methods for toxin detection, and the contribution of further putative virulence factors to the diarrheal disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bacillus cereus; hemolysin BL; non-hemolytic enterotoxin; cytotoxin K; cereulide; pore formation; cytotoxicity; food poisoning Bacillus cereus; hemolysin BL; non-hemolytic enterotoxin; cytotoxin K; cereulide; pore formation; cytotoxicity; food poisoning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dietrich, R.; Jessberger, N.; Ehling-Schulz, M.; Märtlbauer, E.; Granum, P.E. The Food Poisoning Toxins of Bacillus cereus. Toxins 2021, 13, 98.

AMA Style

Dietrich R, Jessberger N, Ehling-Schulz M, Märtlbauer E, Granum PE. The Food Poisoning Toxins of Bacillus cereus. Toxins. 2021; 13(2):98.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dietrich, Richard; Jessberger, Nadja; Ehling-Schulz, Monika; Märtlbauer, Erwin; Granum, Per E. 2021. "The Food Poisoning Toxins of Bacillus cereus" Toxins 13, no. 2: 98.

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