Soil-related Infections


Questions regarding soil exposure should be included in the history of any patient with syndromes consistent with:

  • tetanus
  • botulism
  • anthrax
  • traumatic wounds
  • recalcitrant skin lesions
  • gastroenteritis
  • non-responsive, overwhelming, or chronic pneumonia

Also ask about:

  • travel history
  • comorbidities
  • immune suppression


Soil exposure by:

  • direct contact
  • ingestion (geophagia or indirectly via contaminated foods)
  • inoculation
  • dust or aerosol inhalation


  • Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax)
  • Bacillus cereus (Gastroenteritis)
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei (Melioidosis)
  • Campylobacter spp (Gastroenteritis)
  • Clostridium botulinum (Botulism)
  • Clostridium perfringens (Gas gangrene)
  • Clostridium tetani (Tetanus)
  • Escherischia coli (Gastroenteritis) – can live in the protozoan Acanthamoebae
  • Legionella longbeachae (Atypical pneumonia)
  • Legionella pneumophila (Atypical pneumonia)
  • Listeria monocytogenes (Gastroenteritis, menigitis and flu-like illness)
  • Mycobacterium leprae (postulated)
  • Nocardia spp (Nocardiosis)
  • Salmonella spp (Gastroenteritis)


  • Aspergillus (Aspergillosis)
  • Coccidioides (Coccidioidomycosis)
  • Blastomyces dermatitdis (Blastomycosis)
  • Histoplasma capsulatum (Histoplasmosis)
  • Mucor (Mycetoma or Madura foot)
  • Paracoccidioides (Paracoccidioidomycosis)
  • Penicillium marneffei (Systemic mycosis)
  • Rhizopus (Mucormycosis)
  • Sporothrix schenckii (Sporotrichosis)

References and Links

  • Baumgardner DJ. Soil-related bacterial and fungal infections. J Am Board Fam Med. 2012 Sep-Oct;25(5):734-44. PMID: 22956709.

CCC 700 6

Critical Care


Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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