The Bacillus subtilis was found to be the cause of acute conjunctivitis in 17 patients who had got earth into their eyes. It was not found alone but associated with staphylococci and pneumococci. Its virulence was variable.
Reference: Robertson A. The Bacillus subtilis in eye diseases: clinical and experimental researches. Arch Ophthalmol. 1905:190.
A look at the past . . .. Arch Ophthalmol. 2006;124(6):889. doi:10.1001/archopht.124.6.889