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Growth Characteristics of Virulent Bacillus anthracis and Potential Surrogate Strains

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Abstract:

The objectives of this study were to compare generation and lag times of virulent Bacillus anthracis strains with those of other Bacillus strains, to identify possible surrogates for growth studies, and to determine if the B. cereus module of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Pathogen Modeling Program (PMP) had predictive value for B. anthracis. Growth characteristics of B. anthracis, B. cereus, B. mycoides, and B. subtilis strains in brain heart infusion broth at pH 6.5, 6.0, and 5.5 were determined by absorbance measurements. Growth curves of B. anthracis Sterne and B. cereus strains appeared similar, and the generation times for strain Sterne fell within the PMP's 95% confidence interval for B. cereus. However, the virulent B. anthracis strains Vollum and Pasteur had shorter generation times than the avirulent Sterne strain and most other surrogates and were lower than the PMP's 95% confidence interval for B. cereus. Growth curves of B. cereus ATCC 9818 and B. subtilis ATCC 6633 were more similar to those of virulent B. anthracis strains, but all potential surrogates had significantly different generation times and lag times under some conditions.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate Program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Cook College, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, USA 2: Department of Food Science, Cook College, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, USA 3: Graduate Program in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Department of Food Science, Cook College, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, USA; Department of Food Science, Cook College, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 65 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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