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Article
July 20, 1957

OVERGROWTH OF SERRATIA MARCESCENS IN RESPIRATORY TRACT, SIMULATING HEMOPTYSIS: REPORT OF A CASE

JAMA. 1957;164(12):1328-1330. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980120006007b
Abstract

Accumulated evidence1 has demonstrated that the prolonged use of broad-spectrum antibiotics may so alter the normal flora of the body that antibioticsensitive organisms may be replaced by organisms usually considered nonpathogenic or weakly pathogenic, which may set up new infectious syndromes. This phenomenon has been seen frequently to involve the gastrointestinal tract (particularly the oral cavity) and the respiratory and the genitourinary systems in humans receiving penicillin, the sulfonamides, streptomycin, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, and chloramphenicol. Some of the organisms so isolated have been Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Serratia marcescens.

S. marcescens,2 also known as Chromobacterium prodigiosum or Bacillus prodigiosus, is an aerobic, motile, gram-negative rod that produces a red pigment, which is insoluble in water. It and other members of the genus Chromobacterium have generally been considered to be saprophytes with no known pathogenicity for animals or for man. There are, however, a few scattered reports

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