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September 12, 1977

Bacillus licheniformis Sepsis

Author Affiliations

From the Jefferson Medical College (Dr Sugar), and the Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Daroff Division (Dr McCloskey), Philadelphia. Dr Sugar is now with Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1977;238(11):1180-1181. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280120072022

SERIOUS infection caused by aerobic, spore-forming, Gram-positive Bacillus species is rare. When it occurs, the patient usually is immunologically incompetent, traumatized, or suffering from a serious underlying disorder. We report a unique case of life-threatening Bacillus licheniformis bacteremia and peritonitis. Other than volvulus and perforation of the upper small bowel, no co-morbid immunosuppressive disease was found.

Report of a Case  A 57-year-old male longshoreman, formerly alcoholic, was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain and vomiting of eight hours' duration. He noticed the sudden onset of acute epigastric pain with radiation to the back and both flanks. Within minutes, he began vomiting bilious material that did not contain blood. There was no relief of the pain with analgesics or change of position. The patient denied having fever, chills, diarrhea, melena, hematochezia, dysuria, hematuria, cough, or chest pain. He had stopped drinking alcoholic beverages ten years earlier. He had not had