Comparison of virulence genes in Proteus species isolated from human and pet turtle

Document Type : Short paper


1 MSc Student in Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medical Center and College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Chungbuk 28644, Korea

2 Ph.D. Student in Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medical Center and College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Chungbuk 28644, Korea

3 Laboratory of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Veterinary Medical Center and College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Chungbuk 28644, Korea


The current study was aimed to investigate the prevalence of ureC, rsbA, zapA and mrpA virulence genes using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in Proteus spp. isolated from 5 commercially popular species of pet turtles and comparison of the mrpA gene sequences of Proteus mirabilis isolates with human clinical isolates. A total of 24 isolates in pet turtles were identified, comprised of P. mirabilis (15), Proteus vulgaris (7) and Proteus hauseri (2). The prevalence of ureC, rsbA, zapA and mrpA genes among all identified Proteus spp. isolates were 91.7%, 50%, 45.8% and 45.8%, respectively. The average percentage similarities of mrpA gene sequence of pet turtle P. mirabilis isolates to human urinary and respiratory isolates were 96.35% and 94.85%, respectively. The prevalence of virulence genes and high similarity of mrpA gene sequences between pet turtles and human P. mirabilis isolates revealed that though pet turtles are healthy, these animals may pose a potential risk of urinary and respiratory infections to humans.


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