Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis: its isolation in the respiratory secretions of adult patients

A. Ferrer Marcellés, E. Martínez Ojeda, V. Falcó Ferrer, E. de la Torre Tejedor, T. González Fuente

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We have designed a retrospective study in order to know the clinical significance of the isolation of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis (MC) in respiratory specimens of adult hospitalized patients. METHODS: We performed a Gram stain and culture on blood-agar, MacConkey media and quantitative culture in chocolate-agar to all respiratory samples. In patients with a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia BCYE-alpha was added. During 2 years (1992-1993) MC was isolated in respiratory specimens from 52 patients. We revised the clinical history of all these patients. RESULTS: MC was isolated in 60 respiratory specimens (sputum and/or tracheobronchial aspirates) from 52 patients. The Gram stain showed gram-negative cocci in 77% and gram-positive cocci in 17% of the cases. MC grew in pure culture in 28 specimens (46.6%). In 23% of cases MC was isolated with Streptococcus pneumoniae and in 21% with Haemophilus influenzae. Fifty-two stocks (86.6%) produced beta-lactamase. Twelve patients had a clinical diagnosis of pneumonia, 8 of them had an underlying chronic respiratory disease. Other 24 patients with an underlying chronic respiratory disease had a bronchial infection as a cause of exacerbation of their respiratory disease. Seven patients without an underlying chronic respiratory disease had a clinical episode of acute bronchitis. Finally, in 9 patients the isolation of MC was considered a colonization. CONCLUSIONS: In 17% cases MC was identified as a gram-positive cocci in the Gram stain, which may cause false diagnosis. The etiological importance of MC in episodes of acute exacerbation of patients with an underlying chronic respiratory disease is high.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-558
JournalAnales de medicina interna (Madrid, Spain : 1984)
Volume14
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997

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