Background: Bacillus cereus is a gram-positive rod bacterium that is responsible for food poisoning. It is naturally widely distributed, and thus often contaminates cultures. Although it is rarely considered responsible, it can cause serious infections under certain conditions. However, lethal infections, especially in immunocompetent patients, are rare. Case presentation: A healthy 60-year-old man developed community-acquired B. cereus pneumonia and alveolar hemorrhage unveiled by abrupt chest pain and hemoptysis with no other advance symptoms. B. cereus induced silent alveolar destruction without any local or systemic inflammatory response. Although the lesion resembled lung anthrax, there was no evidence of Bacillus anthracis toxin. Conclusions: Some isolates of B. cereus can cause anthrax-like fulminant necrotizing pneumonia in immunocompetent patients. If this type of B. cereus were used as a means of bioterrorism, it may be quite difficult to recognize as bioterrorism. We should keep B. cereus in mind as a potential pathogen of fulminant human infectious disease.
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