Bacillus Summary


Bacillus anthracis (see WebLinked image; see WebLinked image)

Antiphagocytic polypeptide capsule

Three component exotoxin (protective antigen, edema factor, lethal factor)

Heat-resistant spore formation

Survive in soil and on vegetation for prolonged periods due to spore formation

Herbivores are natural hosts and humans accidental hosts

Human disease acquired by direct inoculation (95% of cases), inhalation (Woolsorter's disease), or ingestion of spores from contaminated soil or infected animal products


Bacillus cereus

Most common cause of traumatic eye injury with three toxins implicated (necrotic toxin, cereolysin, and phospholipase C)

Organisms inoculated into eye from soil contamination of the penetrating object or from endogenous flora colonizing the surface of the eye

Panopthalmitis rapidly progresses with complete loss of light perception within 48 hours with massive destruction of the vitreous and retinal tissues

Two forms of food poisoning mediated by heat stable enterotoxin (usually in improperly stored, cooked rice) causing vomiting (emetic form) or heat labile enterotoxin causing diarrhea (usually in meat or vegetables).

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