Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis

Bacillus is widely distributed in nature including soils, plants, animals, and humans. A majority of bacilli are nonpathogenic; however, several species produce multiple toxins and can cause various diseases in animals and humans. Of these, three species has significant importance because of their ability to cause disease in humans and other animals. Bacillus cereus causes emetic and diarrheal food poisoning. In addition, it can cause systemic fatal infections in immunosuppressed patients and neonates, irreversible eye infection from posttraumatic injury, and metastatic endophthalmitis (i.e., infection spread from other sites to eye). B. thuringiensis is pathogenic to insects and has also been associated with foodborne disease. Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax which is characterized by septicemia and toxemia in animals and humans with a very high mortality rate. The B. anthracis spores are used as bioterrorism agents.


Bacillus Cereus Protective Antigen Bacillus Anthracis Lethal Factor Anthrax Toxin 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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