Proteus Mirabilis Infection: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Proteus Mirabilis Infection: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
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  • 1:01 ''Proteus Mirabilis'' Causes
  • 1:42 ''Proteus Mirabilis'' Symptoms
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dan Washmuth

Dan has taught college Nutrition, Anatomy, Physiology, and Sports Nutrition courses and has a master's degree in Dietetics & Nutrition.

Proteus mirabilis is a type of bacteria that can cause infections in the body, particularly urinary tract infections. In this lesson, learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for Proteus mirabilis infections.

Proteus Mirabilis Infections

Nancy is an 87-year-old retired teacher who just moved into a nursing home due to poor health. Over the past few months, Nancy has not been able to control her bladder and routinely wets herself, a condition known as incontinence. Due to her incontinence, a catheter has been inserted into her urethra and bladder.

Over the past couple days, Nancy has felt pain and burning in her urethra and lower abdomen. Her nurses have also noticed that her urine has looked cloudy recently. On top of all this, Nancy has also begun to experience fever and chills. Worried, Nancy's doctor ran several tests on Nancy to find the cause of her symptoms. When the test results came back, the doctor informed Nancy that she had a urinary tract infection (UTI) caused by the Proteus mirabilis bacteria. Proteus mirabilis is a type of bacteria that can cause various infections in the body. It most often causes urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Proteus Mirabilis Causes

The gastrointestinal tract is home to millions and millions of bacteria, one being Proteus mirabilis. Normally, this bacteria is non-pathogenic, meaning that it does not cause infection or disease. However, if Proteus mirabilis gets into the urinary tract, it can become pathogenic.

Proteus mirabilis often gets into the urinary tract via a urinary catheter. Sometimes, patients require a urinary catheter in order to control the excretion of urine, like Nancy. If a urinary catheter is contaminated with the Proteus mirabilis bacteria, this bacteria can get inside the urinary tract once the catheter is inserted into the urethra and bladder, possibly leading to a UTI.

Proteus Mirabilis Symptoms

As mentioned before, the most common Proteus mirabilis infection is a UTI. Symptoms of a UTI include:

  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue

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