Characterization of Bacillus thuringiensis isolated from infections in burn wounds

Authors

  • Per H Damgaard,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Ecology and Molecular Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
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  • Per E Granum,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, Microbiology and Food Hygiene, Norwegian College of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 8146, N-0033 Oslo, Norway
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  • José Bresciani,

    1. Department of Ecology and Molecular Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
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  • Maria V Torregrossa,

    1. Department of Hygiene and Microbiology, University of Palermo, via del Vespro 133, 90127 Palermo, Italy
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  • Jørgen Eilenberg,

    1. Department of Ecology and Molecular Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
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  • Laura Valentino

    1. Department of Hygiene and Microbiology, University of Palermo, via del Vespro 133, 90127 Palermo, Italy
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Corresponding author. Tel: +45 3528 2660; Fax: +45 3528 2670.

Abstract

Four strains of Bacillus thuringiensis were isolated from infections in burn wounds and from water used in the treatment of burn wounds. The strains produced large parasporal inclusion bodies composed of 141, 83, and 81 kDa protoxins. The four strains were tested for insecticidal activity against larvae of Pieris brassicae and Aedes aegypti but showed no activity; Vero cell assays for the production of enterotoxins were also negative. Attempts to classify the strains according to flagellar H-serotype showed them all to be non-flagellated. Apart from two occupational health accidents that occurred during the handling of highly concentrated B. thuringiensis fluids, this is the first report of B. thuringiensis causing non-gastrointestinal clinical infection in immunosuppressed patients.

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