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The group currently consists of nine species, i.e., , , , , , , , , and the most recent member of the group, . The species within the group are very closely related, and their toxicity ranges from avirulent strains used as probiotics to highly toxic strains responsible for severe illness and fatalities. causes two different types of foodborne illness: the diarrheal type caused by enterotoxins and the emetic type caused by a small heat-stable emetic toxin. For both these types of foodborne illness, the food involved has usually been heat treated, and surviving spores are the source of the food poisoning. The members of the group are common soil saprophytes and are easily spread to many types of foods, especially those of plant origin (rice and pasta), but are also frequently isolated from dairy products. Some strains of the group are able to grow at refrigeration temperature. These variants raise concerns regarding the safety of cooked, refrigerated foods with extended shelf lives. Foodborne illness is probably greatly underreported, as both types of illness are usually mild and last for less than 24 hours. However, more severe forms of foodborne illness, including fatalities, are reported occasionally.

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
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Figure 20.1

Types of foods involved in food poisoning in Europe (European Food Safety Authority) ( ).

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
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Image of Figure 20.2
Figure 20.2

Schematic overview of the promoter regions of the three major enterotoxin operons in ( ). The −35 and −10 regions and transcriptional start sites (bent arrows) ( ), CodY binding sites ( ), catabolite-responsive element (Cre) ( ), PlcR binding sites ( ), SinR binding sites ( ), and ribosomal binding sites (RBS) are indicated. The inverted repeat possibly involved in regulation of translation of is indicated between and ( ).

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
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Table 20.1

Criteria to differentiate members of the group

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
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Table 20.2

Examples of foods involved in food poisoning events

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
Generic image for table
Table 20.3

Characteristics of the two types of illness caused by

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
Generic image for table
Table 20.4

Properties of the emetic toxin cereulide

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
Generic image for table
Table 20.5

Toxins produced by

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20
Generic image for table
Table 20.6

Properties of the Nhe proteins

Citation: Lindbäck T, Granum P. 2019. , p 541-554. In Doyle M, Diez-Gonzalez F, Hill C (ed), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 5th Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819972.ch20

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