Aims: Bacillus cereus is often responsible for foodborne diseases and both local and systemic infections in humans. Cases of infection in other mammals are rather rare. In this study, we report a B. cereus feed-related outbreak that caused the death of 6234 pigs in Italy. Methods and Results: Massive doses of a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium were recovered from the animal feed, faeces of survived pigs and intestinal content of dead ones. The B. cereus MM1 strain was identified by MALDI-TOF MS and typified by RAPD-PCR. The isolate was tested for the production of PC-PLC, proteases, hemolysins and biofilm, for motility, as well as for the presence of genes encoding tissue-degrading enzymes and toxins. Antimicrobial resistance and pathogenicity in Galleria mellonella larvae were also investigated. Our results show that the isolated B. cereus strain is swimming-proficient, produces PC-PLC, proteases, hemolysins, biofilm and carries many virulence genes. The strain shows high pathogenicity in G. mellonella larvae. Conclusions: The isolated B. cereus strain demonstrates an aggressive profile of pathogenicity and virulence, being able to produce a wide range of determinants potentially hazardous to pigs' health. Significance and Impact of Study: This study highlights the proficiency of B. cereus to behave as a devastating pathogen in swine if ingested at high doses and underlines that more stringent quality controls are needed for livestock feeds and supplements.

Characterization of a Bacillus cereus strain associated with a large feed-related outbreak of severe infection in pigs

Calvigioni M.
Primo
;
Celandroni F.;Mazzantini D.;Ghelardi E.
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Aims: Bacillus cereus is often responsible for foodborne diseases and both local and systemic infections in humans. Cases of infection in other mammals are rather rare. In this study, we report a B. cereus feed-related outbreak that caused the death of 6234 pigs in Italy. Methods and Results: Massive doses of a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium were recovered from the animal feed, faeces of survived pigs and intestinal content of dead ones. The B. cereus MM1 strain was identified by MALDI-TOF MS and typified by RAPD-PCR. The isolate was tested for the production of PC-PLC, proteases, hemolysins and biofilm, for motility, as well as for the presence of genes encoding tissue-degrading enzymes and toxins. Antimicrobial resistance and pathogenicity in Galleria mellonella larvae were also investigated. Our results show that the isolated B. cereus strain is swimming-proficient, produces PC-PLC, proteases, hemolysins, biofilm and carries many virulence genes. The strain shows high pathogenicity in G. mellonella larvae. Conclusions: The isolated B. cereus strain demonstrates an aggressive profile of pathogenicity and virulence, being able to produce a wide range of determinants potentially hazardous to pigs' health. Significance and Impact of Study: This study highlights the proficiency of B. cereus to behave as a devastating pathogen in swine if ingested at high doses and underlines that more stringent quality controls are needed for livestock feeds and supplements.
2022
Calvigioni, M.; Cara, A.; Celandroni, F.; Mazzantini, D.; Panattoni, A.; Tirloni, E.; Bernardi, C.; Pinotti, L.; Stella, S.; Ghelardi, E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1146184
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