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Springer Nature Publishing

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Scientific Reports

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Although Bacillus cereus is of particular concern in food safety and public health, the role of other Bacillus species was overlooked. Therefore, we investigated the presence of eight enterotoxigenic genes, a hemolytic gene and phenotypic antibiotic resistance profiles of Bacillusspecies in retail meat samples. From 255 samples, 124 Bacillus isolates were recovered, 27 belonged to B. cereusand 97 were non-B. cereus species. Interestingly, the non-B. cereus isolates carried the virulence genes and exhibited phenotypic virulence characteristics as the B. cereus. However, correlation matrix analysis revealed the B. cereus group positively correlates with the presence of the genes hblA, hblC, and plc, and the detection of hemolysis (p < 0.05), while the other Bacillus sp. groups are negatively correlated. Tests for antimicrobial resistance against ten antibiotics revealed extensive drug and multi-drug resistant isolates. Statistical analyses didn’t support a correlation of antibiotic resistance to tested virulence factors suggesting independence of these phenotypic markers and virulence genes. Of special interest was the isolation of Paenibacillus alvei and Geobacillus stearothermophilus from the imported meat samples being the first recorded. The isolation of non-B. cereus species carrying enterotoxigenic genes in meat within Egypt, suggests their impact on food safety and public health and should therefore not be minimised, posing an area that requires further research.


Published version. Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 11600 (2018). DOI. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

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