Genus Providencia
Taxonomy
Morphology
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Ecology
Pathogenicity
References
Phylum Proteobacteria, Class Gammaproteobacteria, Order Enterobacteriales, Family Enterobacteriaceae, Genus Providencia,
- Providencia alcalifaciens – type species, Ewing 1962, synonyms: Proteus inconstans (Ornstein 1920) Shaw and Clarke 1955,
Eberthella alcalifaciens, de Salles Gomes 1944;
- Providencia burhodogranariea Juneja and Lazzaro 2009;
- Providencia heimbachae Müller et al. 1986;
- Providencia rettgeri  Brenner et al. 1978, synonyms: Bacterium rettgeri Hadley 1918, Proteus rettgeri Rustigian & Stuart 1943;
- Providencia rustigianii Hickman-Brenner et al. 1983, synonym: Providencia friedericiana Müller 1983;
- Providencia sneebia  
Juneja and Lazzaro 2009;
- Providencia stuartii  Ewing 1962, old synonm: Proteus stuartii  Buttiaux et al. 1954;
- Providencia vermicola S
omvanshi et al. 2006
Gram negative rods, 0.6–0.8 x 1.5–2.5 μm. Motile.
Colonies are up to 4 mm in diameter,white, opaque, glossy and convex. After 24–48 h
of growth, colonies of
P. burhodogranariea express a brown pigmentation in their
centres.
P. vermicola produce a soluble brown pigment, colouring the medium
around the colonies. Facultatively anaerobic, optimum growth temperature  37 ºC.
Media: Nutrient agar, Luria-Bertani agar, Trypticase Soy Agar ± 5% sheep blood, BHI
agar.
Isolated from nature (water) and from clinical (urine, feces, blood, wounds & throat) human & animal samples (mammals, birds,
reptiles & insects).
P. burhodogranariea and P. sneebia were obtained from the haemolymph of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly).
P. heimbachae has been isolated from penguin feces and an aborted bovine fetus.
P. vermicola has been isolated from the nematode Steinernema thermophilum.
May cause diarrhea & nosocomial infections (urinary infections).
P. alcalifaciens, P. rettgeri, and P. stuartii can cause enteritis – “travelers' diarrhea”
(foodborne infections).
Reported case of
P. rettgeri meningitis in crocodiles .

Providencia spp. are serologically related to
Escherichia coli, Proteus, Morganella,
Salmonella & Shigella species. The O-antigenic  specificity is defined by the structure
of the O-antigen, a part of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS, endotoxin), one of the major
components of the outer membrane of Gram negative bacteria. LPS is considered  an
important virulence factor.
  1. J. G.Holt et al., 1994. Begey’s manual of Determinative Bacteriology, 9th-edition, Williams & Wilkins.1994.
  2. Ewing W.H.: The tribe Proteae: its nomenclature and taxonomy. International Bulletin of Bacteriological Nomenclature and
    Taxonomy, 1962, 12, 93-102.
  3. Muller H.E.: Providencia friedericiana, a new species isolated from penguins. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1983, 33, 709-715.
  4. Muller H.E., O’Hara C.M., Fanning G.R., Hickman-Brenner F.W., Swenson J.M. & Brenner D.J.: Providencia heimbachae, a new
    species of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from animals. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1986, 36, 252-256.
  5. Brenner D.J., Farmer III J.J., Fanning G.R., Steigerwalt A.G., Klykken P., Wathen H.G., Hickman F.W. & Ewing W.H.:
    Deoxyribonucleic acid relatedness in species of Proteus and Providencia. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 1978,
    28, 269-282.
  6. Hickman-Brenner F.W., Fanning G.R., Muller H.E. & Brenner D.J.: Priority of Providencia rustigianii Hickman-Brenner, Farmer,
    Steigerwalt, and Brenner 1983 over Providencia friedericiana Müller 1983. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol., 1986, 36, 565.
  7. Ewing W.H.: The tribe Proteae: its nomenclature and taxonomy. International Bulletin of Bacteriological Nomenclature and
    Taxonomy, 1962, 12, 93-102.
  8. Somvanhi V.S. et al.: Providencia vermicola sp. nov., isolated from infective juveniles of the entomopathogenic nematode
    Steinernema thermophilum. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol., 2006, 56, 629-633.
  9. M. John Albert, A. S. G. Faruque, & D. Mahalanabis: Association of Providencia alcalifaciens with Diarrhea in Children, Journal of
    Clinical Microbiology, May 1998, p. 1433-1435, Vol. 36, No. 5;
  10. Punita Juneja and Brian P. Lazzaro: Providencia sneebia sp. nov. and Providencia burhodogranariea sp. nov., isolated from wild
    Drosophila melanogaster. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol May 2009 59:1108-1111;
  11. Don J. Brenner & J.J. Farmer III, 2004, Family I. Enterobacteriaceae, In:  Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Second
    edition,Vol two, part B, George M. Garrity (Editor-in-Chief),   pp. 740-744.
Closely related to Proteus spp.

Positive results for catalase, nitrates reduction, acid production from glucose & D-mannose.

Negative results for oxidase, beta-galactosidase, arginine dihydrolase, lysine decarboxylase, ornithine decarboxylase, DN-ase,
lipase, H
2S production, Voges-Proskauer reaction, phenylalanine deaminase, gelatin hydrolysis, malonate utilization,
acid production from L-arabinose, cellobiose, dulcitol, lactose, melibiose, raffinose & D-sorbitol.
(c) Costin Stoica
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R E G N U M
PROKARYOTAE
 
Urea
hydrolysis
Growth on
KCN media
Glycerol
fermentation
myo-Inositol
fermentation
D-sorbitol
fermentation
Trehalose
fermentation
D-adonitol
fermentation
P. alcalifaciens
-
+
[-]
-
-
-
+
P. burhodogranariea
+
 
+
+
-
+
+
P. heimbachae
-
-
-
d
-
-
+
P. rettgeri
+
+
d
+
-
-
+
P. rustigianii
-
+
-
-
-
-
-
P. stuartii
d
+
d
+
-
+
-
P. sneebia
-
 
+
-
+
+
-
P. vermicola
+
 
+
+
-
 
+
Legend:  + positive 90-100%, - negative 90-100%, [+] positive 75-89%, [-] negative 75-89%, d positive 25-74% of strains,
Differential characters of the species (P. vermicola is not included in ABIS database):
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