B. cereus is an opportunistic foodborne pathogen able to cause diarrhoea. However, the diarrhoeal potential of a B. cereus strain remains difficult to predict, because no simple correlation has yet been identified between the symptoms and a unique or a specific combination of virulence factors. In this study, 70 B. cereus strains with different origins (food poisonings, foods and environment) have been selected to assess their enterotoxicity. The B. cereus cell-free supernatants have been tested for their toxicity in vitro, on differentiated (21 day-old) Caco-2 cells, using their ATP content, LDH release and NR accumulation. The genetic determinants of the main potential enterotoxins and virulence factors (ces, cytK, entFM, entS, hbl, nhe, nprA, piplC and sph) have also been screened by PCR. This analysis showed that none of these genes was able to fully explain the enterotoxicity of B. cereus strains. Additionally, in order to assess a possible effect of the mucus layer in vitro, a cytotoxicity comparison between a monoculture (Caco-2 cells) and a co-culture (Caco-2 and HT29-MTX mucus-secreting cells) model has been performed with selected B. cereus supernatants. It appeared that, in these conditions, the mucus layer had no notable influence on the cytotoxicity of B. cereus supernatants.
Castiaux, V., Laloux, L., Schneider, Y. J., & Mahillon, J. (2016). Screening of cytotoxic B. cereus on differentiated Caco-2 cells and in co-culture with mucus-secreting (HT29-MTX) cells. Toxins, 8(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins8110320