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The Genera Proteus, Providencia, and Morganella

  • SECTION 3.3 Gamma Subclass
  • Reference work entry
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The Prokaryotes

Introduction

The three genera Proteus, Morganella and Providencia presently comprise a total of ten species. All are motile, Gram-negative rods with peritrichous flagella, and are assigned to the Enterobacteriaceae family mainly on the basis of shared biochemical characteristics. Most significantly, they are characterized by their ability to oxidatively deaminate phenylalanine and, in most cases (except for some Providencia spp.), to hydrolyze urea (Farmer et al., 1977; Moltke, 1927; Wenner and Retger, 1919). Unusual features include the ability of Proteus sp. to differentiate into swarmer cells upon colonization of solid surfaces. This topic will be covered in more detail in ensuing sections.

Interest in the species comprising these genera has occurred mainly from a clinical perspective, as they include a number of significant human pathogens. In human disease, most infections are associated with prolonged hospitalization and in the case of Proteus and Morganellaspp., colonization...

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Manos, J., Belas, R. (2006). The Genera Proteus, Providencia, and Morganella. In: Dworkin, M., Falkow, S., Rosenberg, E., Schleifer, KH., Stackebrandt, E. (eds) The Prokaryotes. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-387-30746-X_12

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