Proteus mirabilis is a model organism for urease-producing uropathogens. These diverse bacteria cause infection stones in the urinary tract and form crystalline biofilms on indwelling urinary catheters, frequently leading to polymicrobial infection. Recent work has elucidated how P. mirabilis causes all of these disease states. Particularly exciting is the discovery that this bacterium forms large clusters in the bladder lumen that are sites for stone formation. These clusters, and other steps of infection, require two virulence factors in particular: urease and MR/P fimbriae. Highlighting the importance of MR/P fimbriae is the cotranscribed regulator, MrpJ, which globally controls virulence. Overall, P. mirabilis exhibits an extraordinary lifestyle, and further probing will answer exciting basic microbiological and clinically relevant questions.
Trends in microbiology. 2016 Dec 22 [Epub ahead of print]
Allison N Norsworthy, Melanie M Pearson
Department of Microbiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA., Department of Microbiology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA; Department of Urology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA; Current address: University of Michigan Medical School, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 5641 Medical Science Building II, 1150 West Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0620, USA. Electronic address: .