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Septic discitis and septic pulmonary emboli: rare complications of Proteus mirabilis urinary tract infection
  1. Soban Ahmad1,
  2. Madeleine Cutrone2,
  3. Sundus Ikram3 and
  4. Amman Yousaf4
  1. 1Internal Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3General Surgery, SEGi University College Kota Damansara, Greenville, South Carolina, USA
  4. 4Internal Medicine, McLaren Health Care Corp, Flint, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amman Yousaf; ayousafmd2{at}


Proteus mirabilis is a gram-negative bacterium frequently considered a pathogen of the urinary tract. Septic discitis and septic pulmonary emboli resulting from P. mirabilis urosepsis is a rare phenomenon. We report a 39-year-old woman who was admitted to our hospital with a complicated urinary tract infection resulting in bacteraemia, septic discitis, paraspinal abscesses and septic emboli. She was treated with a prolonged course of intravenous antibiotics resulting in the clinical resolution of her symptoms. Based on our PubMed search of the English literature, this is only the second reported case of septic discitis caused by P. mirabilis. This paper illustrates that physicians should include septic discitis caused by P. mirabilis as a possible aetiology of low back pain in patients with active or recently treated urinary tract infection. Additionally, this article discusses the pathogenesis and other complications resulting from P. mirabilis bacteraemia.

  • infections
  • bone and joint infections
  • urinary tract infections
  • pulmonary embolism

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  • Contributors SA: drafted and revised the manuscript and gave the permission for final submission, MC: drafted and revised the manuscript, SI: drafted and revised the manuscript, AY: drafted and critically revised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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