Background and objective: Bacillus cereus is described as one of the public health pathogen causing severe food poisoning outbreaks worldwide. Accurate surveillance about B. cereus in Egypt is scanty. For this reason, the current study was conducted to determine the prevalence of B. cereus and its virulence genes among milk powder and Ras-cheese products. Materials and Methods: Two hundred samples (130 and 70) from milk powder and Ras-cheese, respectively were aseptically collected and cultured onto specific media. The obtained isolates were subjected to mPCR for screening of virulence genes (nhe, cytK, pc-plc, hblD, hbI and ces) among of B. cereus isolates that obtained from milk powder and Ras-cheese. Results: The result revealed that B. cereus was recovered with 6.9 and 8.5% from milk powder and Ras-cheese, respectively. The nhe gene was detected and dominated in all isolates 100% from both products. In milk powder, pc-plc was the most prevalent gene (100%). However, cytK, hblD, hbl and ces genes were prevalent with 55.5, 33.3, 33.3 and 22.2%, respectively. Regarding to Ras-cheese, the prevalence of cytK was (83.33%) while each of hbI, hblD, pc-plc and ces genes were recovered in 50% of tested isolates. Conclusion: This result provided an important epidemiological view about the contamination rate and the most prevalent virulence genes of B. cereus in milk products in Egypt.
Eman El-Shahat Abdeen, Heba Hussien, Ghada Abd Elmonsef Hadad and Walid Saad Mousa, 2020. Prevalence of Virulence Determinants among Bacillus cereus Isolated from Milk Products with Potential Public Health Concern. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 23: 206-212.