Epidemiology and pathogenesis of Bacillus cereus infections

Microbes Infect. 2000 Feb;2(2):189-98. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(00)00269-0.


Bacillus cereus is a causative agent in both gastrointestinal and in nongastrointestinal infections. Enterotoxins, emetic toxin (cereulide), hemolysins, and phoshpolipase C as well as many enzymes such as beta-lactamases, proteases and collagenases are known as potential virulence factors of B. cereus. A special surface structure of B. cereus cells, the S-layer, has a significant role in the adhesion to host cells, in phagocytosis and in increased radiation resistance. Interest in B. cereus has been growing lately because it seems that B. cereus-related diseases, in particular food poisonings, are growing in number.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacillaceae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Bacillaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Bacillus cereus / classification
  • Bacillus cereus / enzymology
  • Bacillus cereus / pathogenicity*
  • Bacillus cereus / radiation effects
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Phagocytosis
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • S-layer proteins