Image_1_Bacillus cereus Isolated From Vegetables in China: Incidence, Genetic Diversity, Virulence Genes, and Antimicrobial Resistance.TIF (503.94 kB)

Image_1_Bacillus cereus Isolated From Vegetables in China: Incidence, Genetic Diversity, Virulence Genes, and Antimicrobial Resistance.TIF

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posted on 15.05.2019 by Pengfei Yu, Shubo Yu, Juan Wang, Hui Guo, Ying Zhang, Xiyu Liao, Junhui Zhang, Shi Wu, Qihui Gu, Liang Xue, Haiyan Zeng, Rui Pang, Tao Lei, Jumei Zhang, Qingping Wu, Yu Ding

Bacillus cereus is a food-borne opportunistic pathogen that can induce diarrheal and emetic symptoms. It is widely distributed in different environments and can be found in various foods, including fresh vegetables. As their popularity grows worldwide, the risk of bacterial contamination in fresh vegetables should be fully evaluated, particularly in vegetables that are consumed raw or processed minimally, which are not commonly sterilized by enough heat treatment. Thereby, it is necessary to perform potential risk evaluation of B. cereus in vegetables. In this study, 294 B. cereus strains were isolated from vegetables in different cities in China to analyze incidence, genetic polymorphism, presence of virulence genes, and antimicrobial resistance. B. cereus was detected in 50% of all the samples, and 21/211 (9.95%) of all the samples had contamination levels of more than 1,100 MPN/g. Virulence gene detection revealed that 95 and 82% of the isolates harbored nheABC and hblACD gene clusters, respectively. Additionally, 87% of the isolates harbored cytK gene, and 3% of the isolates possessed cesB. Most strains were resistant to rifampicin and β-lactam antimicrobials but were sensitive to imipenem, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, kanamycin, telithromycin, ciprofloxacin, and chloramphenicol. In addition, more than 95.6% of the isolates displayed resistance to three kinds of antibiotics. Based on multilocus sequence typing, all strains were classified into 210 different sequence types (STs), of which 145 isolates were assigned to 137 new STs. The most prevalent ST was ST770, but it included only eight isolates. Taken together, our research provides the first reference for the incidence and characteristics of B. cereus in vegetables collected throughout China, indicating a potential hazard of B. cereus when consuming vegetables without proper handling.

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