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TAXONOMY: Bacteria -> Proteobacteria -> Gammaproteobacteria -> Enterobacteriales -> Enterobacteriaceae -> Proteus -> Proteus vulgaris
Proteus vulgaris is a rod-shaped, nitrate-reducing, indole+ and catalase-positive, hydrogen sulfide-producing, Gram-negative bacterium that inhabits the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. It can be found in soil, water, and fecal matter. It is grouped with the Enterobacteriaceae and is an opportunistic pathogen of humans. It is known to cause wound infections and other species of its genera are known to cause urinary tract infections. When P. vulgaris is tested using the API 20E identification system it produces positive results for sulfur reduction, urease production, tryptophan deaminase production, indole production, sometimes positive gelatinase activity, and saccharose fermentation, and negative results for the remainder of the tests on the testing strip. Enterobacteriaceae (of which Proteus is a member) and Pseudomonas species are the micro-organisms most commonly responsible for Gram-negative bacteremia and sepsis. The presence of the sepsis syndrome associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI) should raise the possibility of urinary tract obstruction. This is especially true of patients who reside in long-term care facilities, who have long-term indwelling urethral catheters, or who have a known history of urethral anatomic abnormalities.
This species has been identified as a resident in the human gastrointestinal tract based on the phylogenetic framework of its small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences.[PMC 4262072]