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April 23, 1927


Author Affiliations

Bacteriologist, Senior Medical Officer, and Director of Laboratories, Respectively, St. Elizabeth's Hospital WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1927;88(17):1307-1309. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680430009005

Although Bacillus pyocyaneus is a fairly frequent contaminating organism in wounds and other infections, it rarely obtains a foothold in man, so that fatal infections are rather rare. In the case reported in this paper, the infection was of at least three months' duration. Starting in the mouth or the esophagus it extended throughout the alimentary tract and into the lungs, and was transferred secondarily to the skin of the hands. The symptoms resembled those of gastric carcinoma or pellagra.

Cases like this are quite infrequent, although the gastro-intestinal tract comes next in frequency after the skin as a location for Bacillus pyocyaneus. Several epidemics of summer diarrhea in children have been associated with it, and Calmette 1 incriminated it in a peculiar epidemic of dysentery in China. These were acute infections, however, clearing up very rapidly. Two of Barker's 2 patients had a condition similar to that of our