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Bacillus cereus group is one of the most frequently contaminated foodborne bacterial pathogen groups in milk and dairy products. Members of this group can cause emetic foodborne illness because of their ability to produce the emetic toxin. In this study, we aimed to investigate the occurrence of B. cereus group in raw milk and to develop a multiplex PCR method for detecting emetic B. cereus group strains. A total of 286 raw milk samples were collected from various dairy farming areas, including Mae Jo, Mae Wang, Sankampaeng, and Mae On, in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. The presence of B. cereus group species was examined using Bacara chromogenic agar, through which B. cereus group was found in 34.27% of the milk samples from all farming areas. A duplex PCR that detected its (universal gene) and motB (gene specific for the B. cereus group) was also performed, through which 47.90% of the milk samples were detected positive for the B. cereus group. Furthermore, a multiplex PCR targeting the motB, cesA, and its genes was developed. The developed method was successfully used to identify emetic B. cereus isolates from raw milk.
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