Proteus infections are found worldwide. They are opportunisticpathogens, responsible for urinary and hospital-acquired infections.Proteus is widely distributed as saprophytes in nature. They are commonly found in sewage, in manure soil, in human and animal feces, and in decomposing animal products. Proteus species are most commonly found as part of normal human intestinal flora, along with E. coli and Klebsiella species. They are also present on the moist areas of the skin. In hospital settings, they most commonly colonize the skin and oral mucosa of patients and hospital personnel. Infection to patients primar-ily occurs from these reservoirs.
Proteus species can be typed by (a) serotyping, (b) phage typing,(c) bacteriocin (proticin) typing, and (d) Dienes typing. Proticin typing is frequently carried out by using 12 standard proticin-producing strains, and most of the Proteus strains are typeable by this method.