Bacillus subtilis

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Ba·cil·lus sub·ti·lis

The species name subtilis is correctly pronounced sub-tī'lis.
a bacterial species found in soil and decomposing organic matter; some strains produce the antibiotic subtilin, subtenolin, or bacillomycin; it has been associated with human infections primarily of immunocompromised patients, and with food poisoning. It is the type species of the genus Bacillus.


a genus of bacteria that are gram-positive, aerobic, spore-forming rods. With the exception of B. anthracis and the occasional wound contamination and bovine mastitis caused by B. cereus, the organisms are largely saprophytic and do not cause disease. However, they may invade devitalized tissue. They do have importance in the area of food preservation.

Bacillus actinoides
Bacillus aneurinolyticus, Bacillus thiaminolyticus
are thiaminase-producing bacteria which may proliferate in the rumen and contribute to the cerebral lesions in carbohydrate engorgement and polioencephalomalacia in cattle.
Bacillus anthracis
characterized by its capacity to form spores when exposed to the air and to survive for long periods in soil and other inert materials. Has a characteristic appearance with McFadyean's stain. Causes anthrax in all species.
Bacillus brevis
the source of tyrothricin.
Bacillus cereus
a species causing food poisoning, occasional cases of septicemia and bovine mastitis and abortion.
Bacillus circulans, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus stearothermophilus
very heat-resistant bacteria which cause fermentation of cereals in canned meat foods. They cause souring but no gas production so that the can does not bulge. Called also flat sour. B. stearothermophilus spores are used to test efficacy of autoclaves.
Bacillus larvae
the cause of American foulbrood in honeybees.
Bacillus licheniformis
reported as a cause of abortion in cattle, sheep and pigs, and also isolated from suppurative lesions of horses and cattle.
Bacillus piliformis
the previous name of clostridiumpiliforme, the cause of tyzzer's disease.
Bacillus polymyxa (Bacillus aerosporus)
strains of this organism are the source of the antibiotic polymyxin.
Bacillus subtilis
a common saprophytic soil and water form, often occurring as a laboratory contaminant, and rarely, in apparently causal relation to pathological processes, such as conjunctivitis.