Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the international space station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

S.P. van Tongeren, H.I.J. Roest, J.E. Degener, H.J.M. Harmsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere98871
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • polymerase-chain-reaction
  • toxin genes
  • identification
  • purification
  • sequence
  • strains
  • gyrb

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