General Information: Bacillus cereus 03BB102 was cultured from the blood of a 39 year old San Antonio, Texas welder who died as a result of a severe pneumonia thought to be caused by this microbe. Unlike B. anthracis, the isolate is hemolytic, motile and resistant to gamma phage. However, it is positive for a DFA-based cell wall test for B. anthracis, and it has all or most of the pXO1 pathogenicity island sequences including the sequences for pag, cya and lef. This organism is a soil-dwelling opportunistic pathogen that causes food poisoning in infected individuals. The rapid onset is characterized by nausea and vomiting while the late onset is characterized by diarrhea and abdominal pain. The emetic disease is caused by a small stable dodecadepsipeptide cerulide whereas the diarrheal disease is caused by a heat labile enterotoxin. Some strains produce a potent cytotoxin that forms a pore in the membrane of eukaryotic cells and causes necrotic enteritis (death of intestinal epithelial cells) while the unique tripartite membrane lytic toxin hemolysin BL contributes to the diarrheal disease and destructive infections of the eye.