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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.90 no.1 Rio de Janeiro Jan./Feb. 1995 

Bacillus thuringiensis: fermentation process and risk assessment: a short review

Deise M. F Capalbo1 

EMBRAPA, Centro Nacional de Pesquisa de Monitoramento e Avaliação de Impacto Ambiental, Jaguariúna, Brasil


Several factors make the local production of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) highly appropriate for pest control in developing nations. Bt can be cheaply produced on a wide variety of low cost, organic substrates. Local production results in considerable savings in hard currency which otherwise would be spent on importation of chemical and biological insecticides. The use of Bt in Brazil has been limited in comparison with chemical insecticides. Although Bt is imported, some Brazilian researchers have been working on its development and production. Fermentation processes (submerged and semi-solid) were applied, using by-products from agro-industries. As the semi-solid fermentation process demonstrated to be interesting for Bt endotoxins production, it could be adopted for small scale local production. Although promising results had been achieved, national products have not been registered due to the absence of a specific legislation for biological products. Effective actions are being developed in order to solve this gap. Regardless of the biocontrol agents being considered atoxic and harmless to the environment, information related to direct and indirect effects of microbials are still insufficient in many cases. The risk analysis of the use of microbial control agents is of upmost importance nowadays, and is also discussed.


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