I know that it's the exotoxin of Food Poisoning bacteria that cause illnes (staph aurues, bacillus cereus, clostridium, etc) but wondered if ingesting just the bactera could also make you ill? (I know it does with food borne illness - campylobactyer, e-coli, etc)
For example, if staph aurues has multiplied to high levels but had not yet produced any exotoxin onto the food, could ingesting just the staph cells make you ill?
Interestingly simple question, not so simple to answer.
George has presented a general evaluation of the harmful significance of S.aureus.
S.aureus (some strains) is considered to be associated with the occurrence of foodborne intoxication.
As per the attachments below, this implies that the answer to yr last paragraph is “No” although at levels of >=10^5, the probability of Staph.Enterotoxin occurring is presumably high anyway ?. I guess the typical “M” limits used for cooked foods have a substantial safety factor.
hh1 - major types of foodborne illnesses -- infection, intoxication, and toxin-mediated infection.pdf 50.01KB
hh2 edis, causative agents of foodborne illness.pdf 203.26KB
The spectrum of staphylococcal infections ranges from pimples and furuncles to toxic shock syndrome and sepsis, most of which depend on numerous virulence factors. On the other hand, some infections, such as staphylococcal food poisoning, rely on one single type of virulence factor: the SEs
hh3 - Staphylococcus aureus and food poisoning.pdf 822.49KB
If you are interested in a quite detailed, fairly recent, and pictorially impressive analysis of S.aureus’s capabilities -
hh4 - S.aureus, 4th European Symp.Food Safety.pdf 3.04MB
Rgds / Charles.C