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Toxins 2015, 7(3), 835-845; doi:10.3390/toxins7030835

Plant Compounds Enhance the Assay Sensitivity for Detection of Active Bacillus cereus Toxin

1,†,* , 1,†
,
1,†
and
2,†
1
Foodborne Contaminants Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA 94710, USA
2
Healthy Processed Foods Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA 94710, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sang Ho Choi
Received: 24 December 2014 / Accepted: 6 March 2015 / Published: 11 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [577 KB, uploaded 11 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based on B. cereus toxin inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP) synthesis in transduced monkey kidney Vero cells, combined with plant extracts or plant compounds that reduce viable count of B. cereus in food. The assay exhibited a dose dependent GFP inhibition response with ~25% inhibition at 50 ng/mL toxin evaluated in culture media or soy milk, rice milk or infant formula, products associated with food poisonings outbreak. The plant extracts of green tea or bitter almond and the plant compounds epicatechin or carvacrol were found to amplify the assay response to ~90% inhibition at the 50 ng/mL toxin concentration greatly increasing the sensitivity of this assay. Additional studies showed that the test formulations also inhibited the growth of the B. cereus bacteria, likely through cell membrane disruption. The results suggest that the improved highly sensitive assay for the toxin and the rapid inactivation of the pathogen producing the toxin have the potential to enhance food safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: food poisoning; Bacillus cereus bacteria; inactivation; Bacillus cereus toxin; enterotoxins; plant compounds; plant extracts; cell based assay; food safety food poisoning; Bacillus cereus bacteria; inactivation; Bacillus cereus toxin; enterotoxins; plant compounds; plant extracts; cell based assay; food safety
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rasooly, R.; Hernlem, B.; He, X.; Friedman, M. Plant Compounds Enhance the Assay Sensitivity for Detection of Active Bacillus cereus Toxin. Toxins 2015, 7, 835-845.

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