Proteus mirabilis

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Proteus mirabilis
Proteus mirabilis

What is Proteus mirabilis?

The bacteria belong to the genus Enterobacteria. They are relatively widespread and occur naturally in human and animal intestines, and throughout in the environment. Proteus mirabilis is frequently found in soil and wastewater, because it decomposes organic matter. The germ’s optimum temperature (its ideal growth temperature) is between 34 and 37 degrees Celsius, which makes the human organism the ideal host. In recent years, this pathogen has increasingly developed resistance to common antibiotics (including beta lactams), which makes it difficult to combat the infections it causes.

How is Proteus mirabilis transmitted?

The bacterium spreads mainly through contact with infected persons or contaminated objects and surfaces. The pathogens can also be ingested via the intestinal tract, for example, when it is present in contaminated food. The germs spread quickly because they are very agile. The bacteria can enter the human urogenital system from the intestine, or following a smear infection.

What are symptoms of the disease?

Excessive bacterial colonization can lead to urinary tract infections and, as a late consequence, to kidney stones. Infections of other organs, such as peritonitis, infections of the bile ducts, or of the gastrointestinal tract are significantly less common. Severe cases can also lead to sepsis (blood poisoning).

Significance for infections in hospitals and in the outpatient sector

Proteus mirabilis bacteria can cause wound infections, lower respiratory tract infections, and urinary tract infections, and rarely, sepsis and diarrhoea.

Disinfectant effectiveness for prevention

The necessary spectrum of activity against Proteus mirabilis is: bactericidal

How to prevent Surgical Site Infections

In Europe, Surgical Site Infections (SSI) are the second most common cause of hospital-acquired infections. The following animation shows how to prevent them:

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