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J Vet Med Sci. 1996 Oct;58(10):1027-9.

Mouse lethal activity of a HEp-2 vacuolation factor, cereulide, produced by Bacillus cereus isolated from vomiting-type food poisoning.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Japan.


The HEp-2 vacuolation factor (or cereulide) produced by Bacillus cereus isolated from vomiting-type food poisoning, which is supposed to induce emesis, was found to give mouse and suncus lethality after intravenous and intraperitoneal administration. The emetic activity of the factor was also found to be resistant to heating at 121 degrees C for 15 min, exposure to pH 2 and 11, and to digestion with proteolytic enzymes such as pepsin and trypsin. These findings suggest that the cereulide produced by B. cereus is stable in the digestive tracts, induce emesis, and show lethal activity leading to cellular damage.

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