Bacillus subtilis (Bacillus, BACIU) | BCH-ORGA-SCBD-103064 | Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House


Organism (ORGA)

published: 06 Feb 2012 last updated: 26 May 2015
Organism information
Bacillus subtilis
Kingdom Bacteria
Phylum Firmicutes
Class Bacilli
Order Bacillales
Family Bacillaceae
Genus Bacillus
Species subtilis
  • Vibrio subtilis
  • Bacillus globigii
  • Bacillus
Characteristics related to biosafety
Although this species is commonly found in soil, more evidence are suggesting that B. subtilis is a normal gut commensal in humans. Recent study compared the number of spores carried by the soil (~10 6 spores/g) versus the levels found in human feces (~10 4 spores/g). The number of spores found in the human gut is too high to be attributed solely to consumption through food contamination. Soil simply serves as a reservoir, suggesting that B. subtilis inhabits the gut and should be considered as a normal gut commensal
B. subtilis is only known to cause disease in severely immunocompromised patients, and can conversely be used as a probiotic in healthy individuals. It may contaminate food but rarely causes food poisoning. B. subtilis produces the proteolytic enzyme subtilisin. B. subtilis spores can survive the extreme heat during cooking.
Additional Information
Bacillus subtilis, known also as the hay bacillus or grass bacillus, is a Gram-positive, catalase-positive bacterium commonly found in soil. A member of the genus Bacillus, B. subtilis is rod-shaped, and has the ability to form a tough, protective endospore, allowing the organism to tolerate extreme environmental conditions.
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Record type Field Record(s)
Genetic element Donor organism(s) 2