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Proteus mirabilis is a gram-negative and rod shaped bacterium.
It causes Proteus mirabilis infection in humans. The bacterium produces excess levels of urease, which breakes down urea into ammonia. This causes the formation of stones of calcium carbonate deposits in the bladder and urinary tract, and if they grow to a big enough size, could obstruct the urinary tract and cause renal failure.
Proteus mirabilis is also known to cause pneumonia.
Tests to detect Proteus mirabilis:
1.) Alkali levels in urine samples
2.) Detecting the characteristic swarming motility under a microscope
3.) On a MacConkey agar plate, detection of the inability to metabolize lactose
Proteus mirabilis is a typical bacteria found in the stomach and intestines, and is an important factor in regulating the acidity of the gastrointestinal tract. The P. mirabilis bacterias are not intended to enter the urinary tract, and since they have the ability to convert urea into ammonia, they can cause crystallization and renal failure if they are allowed to build up in the urinary tract; they can also infect other parts of the body, usually causing an inflammatory response. P. mirabilis is very motile, and can swarm in great numbers, making it dangerous in hospital and nursing environments.
The specific infections caused by P. mirabilis include Pyelonephritis, or kidney infection; systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) which has a high mortality rate; prostatitis, the inflammation of the prostate gland in men, and if it enters the lungs, P. mirabilis can cause pneumonia.
Since P. mirabilis is a "good" bacteria, it should be cultivated in its proper place but not allowed to spread. A global antibiotic treatment for infection is usually effective, but can harm the good bacteria in the gut.
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