Persistent Bacillus cereus Bacteremia in 3 Persons Who Inject Drugs, San Diego, California, USA

Gabrielle Schaefer; Wesley Campbell; Jeffrey Jenks; Cari Beesley; Theodoros Katsivas; Alex Hoffmaster; Sanjay R. Mehta; Sharon Reed


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2016;22(9):1621-1623. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Bacillus cereus is typically considered a blood culture contaminant; however, its presence in blood cultures can indicate true bacteremia. We report 4 episodes of B. cereus bacteremia in 3 persons who inject drugs. Multilocus sequence typing showed that the temporally associated infections were caused by unrelated clones.


Bacillus species are typically considered blood culture contaminants, and distinguishing true versus pseudobacteremia requires recognition of the clinical context. Risk factors for infection include prosthetic heart valves, pacemakers, injection drug use, and immunosuppression.[1] In 2013 in San Diego, California, USA, 3 persons who inject drugs (PWIDs) were diagnosed with persistent B. cereus bacteremia. To determine if there was a common source of infection, we performed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of B. cereus from these patients.