Reports of infections due to Bacillus proteus have appeared in the literature occasionally for many years. Until 1920 there was considerable controversy as to whether this organism was ever pathogenic. Most observers now feel that it is often a saprophyte but that when pathogenic it is extremely toxic.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ORGANISM
B. proteus is a member of the colon group of bacilli and hence is usually present in feces and in sewage. Proteus vulgaris and Proteus mirabilis are the most important members of the Proteus group from a clinical standpoint.According to Zinsser, the proteus bacillus is gram-negative, motile and non-spore-bearing. It liquefies gelatin and ferments dextrose and saccharose with gas. On gelatin plates it shows colonies characterized by spreading streamers. Occasionally it has been found to be the causative organism of dysentery, infections of the urinary tract and war wounds. Less frequently it has caused otitis media, septicemia,
MCKEE MTL. BACILLUS PROTEUS INFECTIONS: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE AND REPORT OF A CASE OF SEPTICEMIA OF OTITIC ORIGIN TREATED WITH SULFAPYRIDINE, WITH RECOVERY. Arch Otolaryngol. 1944;39(5):398–402. doi:10.1001/archotol.1944.00680010413002
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