Florid Bacillus cereus Infection of the Placenta Associated With Intrauterine Fetal Demise

Stephanie Shea, Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi, Emilia Sordillo, Michael Nowak, Fumiko Dekio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacillus cereus is a gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly implicated in foodborne illness but has also become increasingly recognized as a source of serious non-gastrointestinal infections, including sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia. Non-gastrointestinal B. cereus infections have been identified in children, especially in neonates; however, there are no previously described cases of fetal demise associated with B. cereus placental infection. We present a case of acute chorioamnionitis-related intrauterine fetal demise of twin A at 17 weeks gestation, noted two days after selective termination of twin B. Histological examination revealed numerous gram-positive bacilli in placental tissue, as well as fetal vasculature, in the setting of severe acute necrotizing chorioamnionitis and subchorionitis, intervillous abscesses, acute villitis, and peripheral acute funisitis. Cultures of maternal blood and placental tissue both yielded growth of B. cereus. This case underscores the importance of B. cereus as a human pathogen, and specifically demonstrates its potential as an agent of severe intraamniotic and placental infection with poor outcomes for the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric and Developmental Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Bacillus cereus
  • fetal demise
  • infection
  • placenta
  • pregnancy


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