A Comparative Genomics Analysis of Numerous Bacillus cereus Group Strains Supports Their Reclassification as Bacillus anthracis

1/28/2020 — 1/30/2020

Poser presented at ASM Biothreats 2020

Relative to older methods based on phenotype or 16S rRNA sequencing, whole-genome sequencing (WGS) can provide more accurate and objective results for identification of bacterial strains and their assignment to the correct genus and species. To confirm the identification of several strains deposited as Bacillus cereus with BEI Resources and ATCC, we obtained the WGS and performed a variety of genomic analyses. According to the analytical methods employed, the strains have characteristics that are more consistent with atypical Bacillus anthracis than with B. cereus. Taken together, our results from these comparative genomics analyses provide very strong support of their reclassification as non-pathogenic strains of B. anthracis.