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Volume 28, Number 9—September 2022

Laboratory Misidentifications Resulting from Taxonomic Changes to Bacillus cereus Group Species, 2018–2022

Laura M. CarrollComments to Author , Itumeleng Matle, Jasna Kovac, Rachel A. Cheng, and Martin Wiedmann
Author affiliations: EMBL, Heidelberg, Germany (L.M. Carroll); Onderstepoort Veterinary Research, Pretoria, South Africa (I. Matle); The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA (J. Kovac); Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA (R.A. Cheng, M. Wiedmann)

Main Article

Table 2

Selected GTDB Bacillus species names and the clinically important strains they encompass*

GTDB species name Encompasses strains which:
Can cause anthrax illness Can cause emetic illness Cannot cause anthrax or emetic illness
B. anthracis
Encompasses all anthrax-causing B. anthracis strains, some anthrax-causing B. cereus strains, and many B. cereus strains that are incapable of causing anthrax illness but are commonly isolated from environmental and food sources (6,7).
B. paranthracis
Encompasses all cereulide-producing B. cereus strains known colloquially as emetic B. cereus, including the high-risk ST26 lineage; also encompasses many environmental and food isolates that are incapable of causing emetic illness (7,11).
B. tropicus Yes No Yes Encompasses some anthrax-causing B. cereus strains, as well as B. cereus strains that are incapable of causing anthrax illness (6,7).

*Obtained using GTDB Releases R95 and R202, but is applicable to any taxonomic framework, in which species names are assigned relative to B. cereus group species type strain genomes, e.g., by a species threshold of 95–96 average nucleotide identity or species threshold of 70% in silico DNA-DNA hybridization (7). GTDB, Genome Taxonomy Database; ST, sequence type assigned using the PubMLST 7-gene multilocus sequence typing scheme for B. cereus ( †B. anthracis and B. cereus refer to historical and/or colloquial species definitions assigned using traditional microbiological methods, as outlined in the US Food and Drug Administration’s Bacteriological Analytical Manual (5).

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Page created: July 31, 2022
Page updated: August 19, 2022
Page reviewed: August 19, 2022
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