Providencia spp

From Dog
Electron micrograph of Providencia alcalifaciens invading macrophages[1]

Providencia spp are a Gram-negative aerobic proteobacteria which is a normal inhabitant of dog skin and gastrointestinal tracts.

Transmission of these bacteria between dogs is usually by aerosol, skin contamination and spread by insect vectors such as filth flies[2].

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Providentia rettgeri
  • Providencia alcalifaciens[3]
  • Providencia stuartii

Infections with this bacteria have been associated with dermatitis, cellulitis[4] and cystitis associated with indwelling urinary catheters[5].

Diarrhea has also been reported[6] and although there are contradictory opinions about the role of this organism as the enteric pathogen[7], it seems that P. alcalifaciens should also be taken into consideration in the routine bacteriological diagnostics of diarrhoea in dogs.

Diagnosis is based on culture of the organism and PCR assays if available.

These aerobic bacteria are usually sensitive to amikacin, cefovecin and amoxycillin/clavulanate.


  1. Magalhães, V et al (1996) Invasion of HeLa cells by Providencia alcalifaciens presumably is plasmid-encoded. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 91(6):1
  2. Urban JE & Broce A (1998) Flies and their bacterial loads in greyhound dog kennels in Kansas. Curr Microbiol 36(3):164-170
  3. Tribe GW & Rood MJ (2002) Providencia alcalifaciens in diarrheic dogs and cats. Vet Rec 150(12):386-387
  4. Papadogiannakis E et al (2007) Providencia stuartii infection in a dog with severe skin ulceration and cellulitis. J Small Anim Pract 48(6):343-345
  5. Gaastra W et al (1996) Isolation and characterization of dog uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis strains. Vet Microbiol 48(1-2):57-71
  6. Król J et al (2007) Providencia alcalifaciens as the presumptive cause of diarrhoea in dog. Pol J Vet Sci 10(4):285-287
  7. Möhr AJ et al (2002) Primary bacterial enteritis caused by Providencia alcalifaciens in three dogs. Vet Rec 150(2):52-53