Comparative phenotypic, genotypic and genomic analyses of Bacillus thuringiensis associated with foodborne outbreaks in France - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2021

Comparative phenotypic, genotypic and genomic analyses of Bacillus thuringiensis associated with foodborne outbreaks in France

Abstract

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) belongs to the Bacillus cereus (Bc) group, well known as an etiological agent of foodborne outbreaks (FBOs). Bt distinguishes itself from other Bc by its ability to synthesize insecticidal crystals. However, the search for these crystals is not routinely performed in food safety or clinical investigation, and the actual involvement of Bt in the occurrence of FBOs is not known. In the present study, we reveal that Bt was detected in the context of 49 FBOs declared in France between 2007 and 2017. In 19 of these FBOs, Bt was the only microorganism detected, making it the most likely causal agent. Searching for its putative origin of contamination, we noticed that more than 50% of Bt isolates were collected from dishes containing raw vegetables, in particular tomatoes (48%). Moreover, the genomic characterization of isolates showed that most FBO-associated Bt isolates exhibited a quantified genomic proximity to Bt strains, used as biopesticides, especially those from subspecies aizawai and kurstaki . Taken together, these results strengthen the hypothesis of an agricultural origin for the Bt contamination and call for further investigations on Bt pesticides.

Dates and versions

hal-04151233 , version 1 (04-07-2023)

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Mathilde Bonis, Arnaud Felten, Sylvie Pairaud, Angélie Dijoux, Véronique Maladen, et al.. Comparative phenotypic, genotypic and genomic analyses of Bacillus thuringiensis associated with foodborne outbreaks in France. PLoS ONE, 2021, 16 (2), pp.e0246885. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0246885⟩. ⟨hal-04151233⟩

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