Article Text

Download PDFPDF
New disease
Spacecraft bacterium, Paenibacillus pasadenensis, causing wound infection in humans
  1. Y Flammer Anikpeh1,
  2. P Keller2,
  3. GV Bloemberg2,
  4. J Grünenfelder3,
  5. A S Zinkernagel1
  1. 1Division of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  2. 2Institute of Medical Microbiology, University Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  3. 3Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Y Flammer Anikpeh, yvonne.flammer{at}


In a patient with mediastinitis after cardiac surgery Paenibacillus pasadenensis was detected in his sternal wound. Paenibacilli are gram-positive, aerobic, bacteria related to bacilli. Until recently these organisms were not known to cause human disease. A few cases of human infection caused by another member of this genus, P alvei, have been reported. The authors describe the first infection with P pasadenensis in humans. P pasadenensis was detected by broad-range bacterial 16S rRNA PCR. Treatment consisted of surgical debridement and antibiotics, vancomycin and ciprofloxacin followed by clindamycin and ciprofloxacin, resulting in complete recovery.

View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.