Laboratory Misidentifications Resulting from Taxonomic Changes to Bacillus cereus Group Species, 2018-2022

Emerg Infect Dis. 2022 Sep;28(9):1877-1881. doi: 10.3201/eid2809.220293.


Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is being applied increasingly to Bacillus cereus group species; however, misinterpretation of WGS results may have severe consequences. We report 3 cases, 1 of which was an outbreak, in which misinterpretation of B. cereus group WGS results hindered communication within public health and industrial laboratories.

Keywords: Bacillus anthracis; Bacillus cereus; Bacillus paranthracis; Bacillus tropicus; anthrax; bacteria; bioterrorism and preparedness; food safety; foodborne diseases; taxonomy; whole-genome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus anthracis*
  • Bacillus cereus / genetics
  • Bacillus*
  • Laboratories