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J Infect. 2005 Jan;50(1):22-30.

Bacillus cereus infections in Traumatology-Orthopaedics Department: retrospective investigation and improvement of healthcare practices.

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Laboratoire de Bactériologie-Hygiène, CHU Rangueil-Larrey, TSA 50032, F-31059 Toulouse cedex 9, France.



To investigate 41 open fractures infected with Bacillus cereus in a Traumatology-Orthopaedy ward and propose a care protocol at admission.


All B. cereus strains isolated from patients hospitalized in the Traumatology-Orthopaedy ward between March 1997 and August 2001 were submitted to molecular analysis (RAPD and PFGE) in order to investigate a putative outbreak. Susceptibility to the main antibiotics and antiseptics used in this kind of surgery was also evaluated.


The B. cereus clinical isolates were mainly isolated from patients who had initially open fractures and were not clonally related. Furthermore, analysis of the clinical data was in favour of a telluric contamination of the wound (wound contamination with terrestrial environments) before admission. Finally, betalactam antibiotics used for prophylactic chemotherapy were not effective against the strains tested as well as the antiseptics who displayed poor effect.


B. cereus could be termed an emerging pathogen and people need to be aware of its potential importance in orthopaedic trauma cases. In this purpose, a systematic screening for B. cereus at admission should be necessary in front of patients with open fractures associated with telluric contamination. Furthermore, if this bacterium can be isolated, chemotherapy should be based upon ciprofloxacin that would prevent the development of B. cereus infection responsible for deleterious complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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