Identification, genetic diversity and cereulide producing ability of Bacillus cereus group strains isolated from Beninese traditional fermented food condiments

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  • Line Thorsen
  • Paulin Azokpota
  • Bjarne Munk Hansen
  • D. Joseph Hounhouigan
  • Mogens Jakobsen

Bacillus cereus sensu lato is often detected in spontaneously fermented African foods but is rarely identified to species level. Only some of the B. cereus group species are reported to be pathogenic to humans and identification to species level is necessary to estimate the safety of these products. In the present study, a total of 19 Bacillus cereus group spp. isolated from afitin, iru and sonru, three spontaneously fermented African locust (Parkia biglobosa) bean based condiments produced in Benin, were investigated. The strains were isolated at 6, 12, 18, 24 and 48 h fermentation time. By using phenotypic and genotypic methods all of the isolates could be identified as B. cereus sensu stricto. The isolates were grouped according to their PM13 PCR (random amplification of polymorphic DNA PCR) fingerprint and formed two major clusters, one of which contained eight strains isolated from afitin (cluster 1). Highly similar PM13 profiles were obtained for seven of the isolates, one from afitin, one from iru and five from sonru (cluster 2). Four of the isolates, one from afitin and three from sonru, did not form any particular cluster. The PM13 profiles of cluster 2 isolates were identical to those which are specific to emetic toxin producers. Cereulide production of these isolates was confirmed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry. This is the first report on cereulide producing B. cereus in African fermented foods. Occurrence of the opportunistic human pathogen B. cereus, which is able to produce emetic toxin in afitin, iru and sonru, could impose a health hazard. Interestingly, no reports on food poisoning from the consumption of the fermented condiments exist.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)247-250
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 32329412