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J Food Prot. 2005 Oct;68(10):2123-30.

Establishment of a novel multiplex PCR assay and detection of toxigenic strains of the species in the Bacillus cereus group.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry, National Taiwan University, 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Erratum in

  • J Food Prot. 2006 Jan;69(1):5.


Five different enterotoxins and one emetic toxin of Bacillus cereus have been characterized. To amplify all of the enterotoxin and emetic-specific sequences of the species in the B. cereus group, a multiplex PCR with 12 primer pairs was established. In developing the assay method, a common terminal sequence at the 3' ends of all primers was chosen and a hot start Taq polymerase was used to overcome primer dimer formation. The assay was successfully applied to analyze the toxigenic potential of 162 food-poisoning and food-related strains. Results showed that there were 10 toxigenic patterns for all the test strains. All of the B. cereus strains carried at least one toxin gene. More than 70% of Bacillus mycoides strains carried no known toxin genes. The toxin profiles and toxin genes of B. mycoides strains were significantly different from B. cereus strains (P < 0.05), although the two species were closely related. The results suggest that many B. mycoides strains might be less prone to cause food poisoning. They also indicate the importance of detecting the toxin genes together with the detection of the species in the B. cereus group.

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