Diseases Associated With the Bacterium Term Paper

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Another modern diagnosis system which enables rapid identification of members of the Enterobacteriaceae and other Gram-negative bacteria, including Proteus vulgaris is through the API 20E system. It involves the use of plastic strips consisting of 20 small wells containing dehydrated media components; the bacterium to be tested is suspended in sterile saline and added to each well, then the strip is incubated for 16-24 hours and the color reactions are noted as either positive or negative. The test results are then entered into a computer program identify the bacterium. (Ibid.)


The standard treatment of Proteus vulgaris is through a course of antibiotics. However, it should be noted that P. vulgaris (and P. penneri) are more difficult to treat than the commonly occurring Proteus specie -- Proteus mirabilis. Both these strains (P. vulgaris and P. penneri) are resistant to ampicillin and first-generation cephalosporins. However, antibiotic drugs such as Imipenem, fourth-generation cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, TMP/SMZ, and quinolones have been found to be fairly effective against Proteus vulgaris (Gonzales et. al. 2006)

As with other antibiotics, care must be taken against hypersensitive reactions, especially in patients with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens. In addition, antibiotic therapy requires constant observation for signs of overgrowth of organisms, including fungi. Prolonged treatment also requires periodic check for organ system dysfunction such as the renal, hepatic systems, particularly in infants (Ibid.)


Although Proteus vulgaris infection is rare, prevention is always better than cure. For preventing cystitis, it is important to practice proper toilet hygiene. Women and girls must dry themselves from front to back, towards the anus, to avoid leading bacteria from their intestine into their urethra. It is advisable to drink sufficiently, so the bladder remains flushed; people who do not urinate for long periods are likely to suffer from UTI; hence one should urinate at least every three hours. Extra care in hospital hygiene practices would also reduce the spread of Proteus vulgaris infection that are acquired from hospitals. (Macfarlane and Klenerman, 2007)


Description / Definition

Proteus vulgaris is briefly defined as a gram negative bacterium that is usually found in the intestinal tracts of animals, which can cause urinary tract and wound infections.

History of its Discovery timeline of the discovery of the bacterium is presented. It was first discovered by a German microbiologist in 1885. In later research, P. vulgaris has been seperated into further sub-groups.


Modes of transmission have been discussed. It is noted that P. vulgaris is rarely present in the fecal matter but can be spread by direct contact, hospital environment, and urethral insertions.


Typical diagnosis of P. vulgaris, which is usually done through culture tests in the laboratory has been described.


Treatment of Proteus vulgaris infection -- usually carried out through antibiotic drugs as well as the drugs that are most effective in its treatment along with the precautions have been listed.


Preventive measures that minimize the risk of diseases caused by P. vulgaris have been described.


Deacon, J. (n.d.) "The Microbial World: Proteus vulgaris and clinical diagnostics."

Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, the University of Edinburgh. Retrieved on December 17, 2007 at http://www.biology.ed.ac.uk/research/groups/jdeacon/microbes/proteus.htm

Gonzalez, G. (2006). "Proteus Infections." E-medicine. Retrieved on December 17, 2007 at http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1929.htm

Macfarlane, J. And Klanerman, P. (2007). "Cystitis." Net Doctor. Retrieved on December 17, 2007 at http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/cystitis.htm

O'Hara, C.M., et al. (2000). "Classification, Identification, and Clinical Significance of Proteus, Providencia, and Morganella." Clinical Microbiology Reviews, October 2000, Vol. 13, No. 4: p. 534-546.

Senior, B.W. And Leslie, D.L. "Rare Occurrence of Proteus Vulgaris in Faeces." J. Med Microbiol. March 21,1986. 21 (2):139-44.

The term Proteus means "changeability of form, as personified in the Homeric poems in Proteus... And has the gift of endless transformation" (O'Hara et al. 2000)

The five named Proteus species are P. mirabilis, P. penneri, P. vulgaris, P. myxofaciens, and P. hauser, and the three unnamed genomospecies are Proteus genomospecies 4, 5, and 6.

More than 80% of human urinary tract infections (UTI) are due to the bacterium, Escherichia coli

In a study by Senior and Leslie (1986), out of 220 fecal isolates from 219 individuals, most (96%) isolates were either Proteus mirabilis (62%) or Morganella morgani (34%), while P. vulgaris was found in only one (0.45%) fecal specimen vaccine derived from purified mannose-resistant Proteus-like (MR/P) fimbriae proteins has been proven to prevent infection in mouse models and is under clinical research, but it is not available commercially…

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