The Genus Bacillus—Medical

  • W. Edmund Farrar
  • Annette C. Reboli

Of the 34 species of the genus Bacillus, the two of greatest medical importance are B. anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, and B. cereus, which causes food poisoning. Nonanthrax Bacillus species, including B. cereus, also cause a wide variety of other infections, and they are being recognized with increasing frequency as significant pathogens in humans. Species which have caused human disease include B. cereus, B. alvei, B. megaterium, B. coagulans, B. laterosporus, B. subtilis, B. sphaericus, B. circulans, B. brevis, B. licheniformis, B. macerans, B. pumilus, and B. thuringiensis. After B. anthracis, B. cereus is the most frequent human pathogen. B. subtilis has been used as a synonym for aerobic sporeformers other than B. anthracis, and many isolates described as B. subtilis in the early literature were probably B. cereus (Weinstein and Colburn, 1950).


Anthrax has a long and fascinating history. The disease in cattle is described in Egyptian and Mesopotamian writings...


Necrotizing Fasciitis Bacillus Species Protective Antigen Intravenous Drug User Lethal Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Edmund Farrar
  • Annette C. Reboli

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