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February 1960

Infection Due to Chromobacteria: Report of a Case of Pneumonia Due to Chromobacterium Prodigiosum Successfully Treated with Kanamycin

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas

From the Medical Service, the Hermann Hospital, and the Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University College of Medicine. Attending Physician, Hermann Hospital, and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Baylor University College of Medicine (Dr. Bernard), and Resident in Medicine, Hermann Hospital, and Instructor in Medicine, Baylor University College of Medicine (Dr. Sutton).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(2):311-315. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270140133015

Introduction  Chromobacteria have been known to bacteriologists since 1823, when an Italian scientist by the name of Bizio1 first called attention to the red-pigment-producing species which he named Serratia marcescens. Subsequently, two other members of this group of organisms were identified and named according to the characteristic pigment they produced, namely, Chromobacterium violeceum, which produces a purple- or violet-colored pigment, and Chromobacterium aquatilis, which yields a yellowish-blue pigment. These organisms are Gram-negative, nonsporulating, actively motile rods which produce pigment only in the presence of oxygen. They grow abundantly on most artificial media, but solid media are necessary for pigment production. They are natural inhabitants of the large bowel, skin, and lower urinary tract of man and other animals.2Human infection caused by various species of Chromobacteria have been but briefly and infrequently recorded in the American literature. It is of some interest that these organisms were considered to