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Proteus species

Proteus species is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Aerobic, Gram-negative, urease-splitting rod. It is a non-lactose fermenter, indole-negative, oxidase-negative but catalase- and nitrate-positive.
    • "Swarms" on moist agar (many flagella per organism, see video as an example).
    • The second most commonly isolated Enterobacteriaceae after E. coli in many series.
  • Most common species: P. mirabilis (indole negative) causes 90% of infections.
    • Other Proteus spp. are indole positive, e.g., P. vulgaris and P. penneri.
    • Proteus rettgari now a member ofProvidencia spp., properly Providencia rettgari, often a highly resistant organism.
  • Can raise urine pH due to urea-splitting activity.
  • P. mirabilis is usually resistant to tetracycline and nitrofurantoin, while 10-20% are resistant to ampicillin or cephalexin. P. vulgaris usually resistant to ampicillin or cephalexin/cefazolin.

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Last updated: June 6, 2019


Auwaerter, Paul. "Proteus Species." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2019. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540454/all/Proteus_species.
Auwaerter P. Proteus species. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540454/all/Proteus_species. Accessed June 18, 2019.
Auwaerter, P. (2019). Proteus species. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540454/all/Proteus_species
Auwaerter P. Proteus Species [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2019. [cited 2019 June 18]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540454/all/Proteus_species.
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TY - ELEC T1 - Proteus species ID - 540454 A1 - Auwaerter,Paul,M.D. Y1 - 2019/06/06/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540454/all/Proteus_species PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -