Heat-stable toxin production by strains of Bacillus cereus, Bacillus firmus, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus simplex and Bacillus licheniformis

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2005 Jan 15;242(2):313-7. doi: 10.1016/j.femsle.2004.11.022.


Strains of Bacillus cereus can produce a heat-stable toxin (cereulide). In this study, 101 Bacillus strains representing 7 Bacillus species were tested for production of heat-stable toxins. Strains of B. megaterium, B. firmus and B. simplex were found to produce novel heat-stable toxins, which showed varying levels of toxicity. B. cereus strains (18 out of 54) were positive for toxin production. Thirteen were of serovar H1, and it was of interest that some were of clinical origin. Two were of serovars 17B and 20, which are not usually implicated in the emetic syndrome. Partial purification of the novel B. megaterium, B. simplex and B. firmus toxins showed they had similar physical characteristics to the B. cereus emetic toxin, cereulide.

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus / isolation & purification
  • Bacillus / metabolism*
  • Bacillus cereus / metabolism
  • Bacillus megaterium / metabolism
  • Bacterial Toxins / analysis
  • Bacterial Toxins / biosynthesis*
  • Drug Stability
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Food Microbiology
  • Foodborne Diseases
  • Hot Temperature


  • Bacterial Toxins