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Urease Test

This test is used to identify bacteria capable of hydrolyzing urea using the enzyme urease. It is commonly used to distinguish the genus Proteus from other enteric bacteria. The hydrolysis of urea forms the weak base, ammonia, as one of its products. This weak base raises the pH of the media above 8.4 and the pH indicator, phenol red, turns from yellow to pink. Proteus mirabilis is a rapid hydrolyzer of urea (center tube pictured here). The tube on the far right was inoculated with a urease negative organism and the tube on the far left was uninoculated.

urease test results

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