The first human infection with Chromobacterium violaceum was recorded in 1927, but since then there have been about 33 cases reported worldwide, including two from Australia. Chr. violaceum occurs in the tropics and subtropics and is generally considered to be nonpathogenic, but infection can occur in patients who are immunosuppressed and it has a high mortality rate. This paper presents the intensive care management of two cases of Chr. violaceum infection occurring in Far North Queensland. The patients' predisposition appears to have been malnourishment and alcohol abuse. The increased use of immunosuppressive drugs and the appearance of diseases such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) make it possible that we will see more of this condition in Australian intensive care units.