New Approach Methods to Assess the Enteropathogenic Potential of Strains of the Bacillus cereus Group, including Bacillus thuringiensis - Anses - Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail Access content directly
Journal Articles Foods Year : 2024

New Approach Methods to Assess the Enteropathogenic Potential of Strains of the Bacillus cereus Group, including Bacillus thuringiensis

Abstract

Bacillus cereus (Bc) is a wide group of Gram-positive and spore-forming bacteria, known to be the etiological agents of various human infections, primarily food poisoning. The Bc group includes enteropathogenic strains able to germinate in the digestive tract and to produce enterotoxins such as Nhe, Hbl, and CytK. One species of the group, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), has the unique feature of producing insecticidal crystals during sporulation, making it an important alternative to chemical pesticides to protect crops from insect pest larvae. Nevertheless, several studies have suggested a link between the ingestion of pesticide strains and human cases of food poisoning, calling their safety into question. Consequently, reliable tools for virulence assessment are worth developing to aid decision making in pesticide regulation. Here, we propose complementary approaches based on two biological models, the human intestinal Caco-2 cell line and the insect Drosophila melanogaster, to assess and rank the enteric virulence potency of Bt strains in comparison with other Bc group members. Using a dataset of 48 Bacillus spp. strains, we showed that some Bc group strains, including Bt, were able to induce cytotoxicity in Caco-2 cells with concomitant release of IL-8 cytokine, a landmark of pro-inflammatory response. In the D. melanogaster model, we were able to sort a panel of 39 strains into four different classes of virulence, ranging from no virulence to strong virulence. Importantly, for the most virulent strains, mortality was associated with a loss of intestinal barrier integrity. Interestingly, although strains can share a common toxinotype, they display different degrees of virulence, suggesting the existence of specific mechanisms of virulence expression in vivo in the intestine.
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Dates and versions

hal-04540478 , version 1 (10-04-2024)

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Arnaud Fichant, Rachelle Lanceleur, Salma Hachfi, Alexandra Brun-Barale, Anne-Louise Blier, et al.. New Approach Methods to Assess the Enteropathogenic Potential of Strains of the Bacillus cereus Group, including Bacillus thuringiensis. Foods, 2024, 13 (8), pp.1140. ⟨10.3390/foods13081140⟩. ⟨hal-04540478⟩
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