Research -Detection of Bacillus cereus sensu lato Isolates Posing Potential Health Risks in Mexican Chili Powder 

MDPI

bacillus

The potential presence of spore-forming bacteria related to the Bacillus cereus group in Mexican chili powder elaborated from Capsicum annuum L. is of commercial and clinical interest, because chili powder is an essential spice in the Mexican diet and in diets around the globe. To facilitate detection and isolation of members of this group of spore-forming bacteria from Mexican chili powder samples, we identified colonies that grew on agar medium selective for Bacillus cereus sensu lato, supplemented with polymyxin B (10 µg/mL) and ampicillin (10 to 100 µg/mL). The presumptive B. cereus (s.l.) isolates were tested using a tRNACys-PCR-based approach and the results identified species related phylogenetically to B. cereusB. thuringiensis, and B. toyonensis. Their toxigenic potential was assessed by serological tests to detect enterotoxins (Nhe and Hbl) and by PCR targeting the hemolysin BL (hbl) component C (hblC) and non-hemolytic enterotoxin component A (nheA). The antibiotic profiles of the isolates showed a high resistance to β-lactams (100% of the isolates), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (100%), tetracycline (90%), erythromycin (77%), clindamycin (74%), and chloramphenicol (42%). Our results indicate the presence of B. cereus s.l. with toxigenic characteristics in Mexican chili powder. Because of the potential for these organisms to cause disease through their production of various toxins, and resistance to antibiotics, we recommend that a microbiological risk assessment must be considered in the Mexican regulatory requirements. View Full-Text

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