Members of the genus Proteus are widely distributed in nature. They may also be present as saprophytes in the intestinal tract of normal human beings. Only rarely are they encountered as the primary causative agents in diseases of man. More frequently they play the role of secondary invaders. Thus they may be found in association with infections of the urinary tract, perforative peritonitis, cholecystitis, infections of the ear and mastoid, conjunctivitis, puerperal fever, traumatic infections and other anomalies. Although the members of the genus Proteus have been frequently isolated in cultures of material from patients with enteric diseases, their significance in the pathogenesis of these conditions, particularly summer diarrhea of children and food poisoning, is not fully understood.
It is interesting to note that only rarely do members of the Proteus group invade the blood stream. The bacteremia may originate from any lesion and complicate a variety of diseases. MacKenzie
NETER E, CHAIT RA. BACILLUS PROTEUS IN OTITIS MEDIA, COMPLICATED BY MASTOIDITIS, MENINGITIS AND BACTEREMIA. Arch Otolaryngol. 1940;32(5):947–950. doi:10.1001/archotol.1940.00660020954012
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