Bacillus cereus can cause serious infections in immunosuppressed patients. This population may be susceptible to B. cereus pneumonia, bacteremia, cellulitis, and rarely cerebral abscess. Here we report an 8-year-old boy undergoing induction therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia who developed multifocal B. cereus cerebral abscesses, highlighting the propensity for B. cereus to develop cerebral abscesses. A review of the literature over the past 25 years identified another 11 cases (3 children and 8 adults) of B. cereus cerebral abscess in patients undergoing cancer therapy. B. cereus cerebral abscesses were associated with a high mortality rate (42%) and significant morbidity. Notably, B. cereus bacteremia with concomitant cerebral abscess was associated with induction chemotherapy for acute leukemia in both children and adults (10 of 12 case reports). Our case report and review of the literature highlights the propensity for B. cereus to develop cerebral abscess(es). Therefore, early consideration for neuroimaging should be given for any neutropenic cancer patient identified with B. cereus bacteremia, in particular those with acute leukemia during induction therapy.
- opportunistic infection