- 1. A former genus of the Sarcodina, now termed Amoeba. 2. A genus of motile, peritrichous, nonsporeforming, aerobic to facultatively anaerobic bacteria (family Enterobacteriaceae) containing Gram-negative rods; coccoid forms, large irregular involution forms, filaments, and spheroplasts occur under certain conditions. The metabolism is fermentative, producing acid or acid and visible gas from glucose; lactose is not fermented, and they rapidly decompose urea and deaminate phenylalanine. P. occurs primarily in fecal matter and in putrefying materials. The type species is P. vulgaris. [G. P., a sea god, who had the power to change his form]- P. inconstans a bacterial species found in urinary tract infections and in sporadic cases of diarrhea in humans; some strains cause gastroenteritis.- P. mirabilis a bacterial species found in putrid meat, infusions, and abscesses; a cause of urinary tract infections associated with formation of renal and bladder calculi.- P. morganii former name for Morganella morganii, a bacterial species found in the intestinal canal, and in nosocomial infections.- P. rettgeri SYN: Providencia rettgeri.- P. vulgaris the type species of the bacterial genus P., found in putrefying materials and in abscesses; it is pathogenic for fish, dogs, guinea pig s, and mice; certain strains, the X strains of Weil and Felix, are agglutinated by typhus serum and are therefore of great importance in the diagnosis of typhus; strain X-19 is strongly agglutinated. SEE ALSO: Weil-Felix reaction.
* * *pro·te·us 'prōt-ē-əs n1) cap a genus of aerobic gram-negative bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae that ferment glucose but not lactose and decompose urea, that are usu. motile by means of peritrichous flagella, and that include saprophytes in decaying organic matter and a common causative agent (P. mirabilis) of urinary tract infections2) pl -tei -.ī any bacterium of the genus Proteus Proteus Greek mythological character. Proteus was an ancient god of the sea and sometimes identified as a son of Poseidon. His job was to herd Poseidon's flocks of seals and other sea creatures. Possessed of the gift of prophecy, he was generally unwilling to share his knowledge and would escape his questioners by assuming a variety of shapes, including fire and water and the forms of wild beasts.
* * *n.a genus of rodlike Gram-negative flagellate highly motile bacteria common in the intestines and in decaying organic material. All species can decompose urea. Some species may cause disease in humans: P. vulgaris can cause urinary tract infections.
* * *Pro·te·us (proґte-əs) [Gr. Prōteus an ocean deity able to change shape] a genus of gram-negative, pleomorphic, rod-shaped bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae, consisting of facultatively anaerobic, chemo-organotrophic, actively motile organisms. Colonies exhibit swarming. The organisms are found in fecal material, especially in patients treated with oral antibiotics, and are potential pathogens, associated with urinary tract infections, bacteremia, and abdominal and wound infections. The type species is P. vulgaґris.
Medical dictionary. 2011.