Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Proteus spp

Synonym(s): P. mirabilis, P. vulgaris

Contributor(s): Sarah Binns, Christopher Brown




  • Genus:Proteus.
  • Family:Enterobacteriaceae.


  • Gk:Proteus- an ocean God able to change himself into different shapes. Lat:mirabilis- wonderful;vulgaris- common.

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Clinical Effects



  • Part of normal flora of gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts, and skin.


  • Multiples by binary fission.
  • May undergo conjugation with otherEnterobactericeae, with transfer of plasmoids.


  • Endogenous or exogenous infections.

Pathological effects

  • Compromise of immune system   →   opportunistic infections.

Other Host Effects

  • Part of normal gastrointestinal flora.
  • Part of normal skin flora in some dogs and cats.
  • Part of normal flora of urogenital tract in some horses.


Control via chemotherapies



  • None.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • MacLeay J M et al (1998) Results of quantitative cultures of urine by free catch and catheterization from healthy adult horses. J Vet Intern Med 12 (2), 76-78 PubMed.
  • Ensink J M et al (1993) In-vitro susceptibility to antimicrobial drugs of bacterial isolates from horses in the Netherlands. Equine Vet J 25 (4), 309-313 PubMed.
  • Lakritz J et al (1993) Bronchointerstitial pneumonia and respiratory distress in young horses - clinical clinicopathologic, radiographic, and pathologic findings in 23 cases (1984-1989). J Vet Intern Med (5), 277-288 PubMed.
  • Brinsko S P, Varner D D, Blanchard T L, Relford R L & Johnson L (1992) Bilateral infectious epididymitis in a stallion. Equine Vet J 24 (4), 325-328 PubMed.
  • Orsini J A et al (1989) Resistance to gentamicin and amikacin of gram-negative organisms isolated from horses. Am J Vet Res 34 (3), 923-925 PubMed.
  • Divers T J, Byars T D, Murch O & Sigel C W (1981) Experimental induction of Proteus mirabilis cystitis in the pony and evaluation of therapy with trimethoprim-sulfadiazine. Am J Vet Res 42 (7), 1203-1205 PubMed.