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J Invertebr Pathol. 1990 May;55(3):350-6.

Studies on the cellular defense reactions of the madeira cockroach, Leucophaea maderae: in vitro phagocytosis of different strains of Bacillus cereus and their effect on hemocyte viability.

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Biomedical and Physiological Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University College of Swansea, Singleton Park, United Kingdom.


Monolayers of Leucophaea maderae hemocytes, consisting of mainly plasmatocytes and coagulocytes, were incubated with three strains of Bacillus cereus of differing pathogenicities, and the levels of phagocytosis and hemocyte viability were determined. Incubation with viable B. cereus strains NCTC 2599, NCIB 3329, and B1 resulted in a significant drop in hemocyte viability after 60 min of incubation compared with the saline-only controls. The greatest effect, however, resulted from incubation with B. cereus B1 which is the most pathogenic of the three strains studied. The killing effect of the three B. cereus strains was abolished following their UV irradiation. Incubation of monolayers with viable B. cereus B1 resulted in a level of phagocytic activity at all time periods lower than that with the other two strains. The highest levels of phagocytosis were achieved with UV-killed B. cereus, although no significant differences were found in these values between the three strains at any of the incubation times. Phospholipase C, a lytic enzyme shown to be released by all three strains of B. cereus, although in varying amounts, also caused hemocyte death following its incubation with the monolayers. These data suggest that the hemocyte killing and resistance to phagocytosis by B. cereus are caused by the release of phospholipase C, or some other related toxin(s) by the bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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