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Case Reports
. 1979 Mar;139(3):293-4.

The Spectrum of Bacillus Bacteremias in Heroin Addicts

  • PMID: 106784
Case Reports

The Spectrum of Bacillus Bacteremias in Heroin Addicts

P F Weller et al. Arch Intern Med. .


Bacillus bacteremias occurred in two heroin addicts. The first patient had one day of fever and chills after intravenous heroin use. Persistent cereus bacteremia consistent with endocarditis was documented and responded to four weeks of antibiotic therapy. The second patient had non-cereus Bacillus species isolated from blood cultures three times over eight days, each time after renewed heroin use. The patient remained well, and the bacteremias cleared spontaneously. Because Bacillus species frequently contaminate heroin injection materials and because the Bacillus bacteremias were temporally associated with intravenous heroin use, Bacillus bacteremias in both patients probably eventuated from heroin abuse. These cases, in conjunction with two previously reported cases of Bacillus endocarditis in heroin addicts, suggest that heroin addicts are at risk for developing Bacillus bacteremias, which may vary in severity from endocarditis to benign transient bacteremias.

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