Moraxella catarrhalis: Clinical significance, antimicrobial susceptibility and BRO beta-lactamases

  • K. McGregor
  • B. J. Chang
  • B. J. Mee
  • T. V. Riley


Moraxella catarrhalis is an important pathogen of humans. It is a common cause of respiratory infections, particularly otitis media in children and lower respiratory tract infections in the elderly. Colonisation of the upper respiratory tract appears to be associated with infection in many cases, although this association is not well understood. Nosocomial transmission is being increasingly documented and the emergence of this organism as a cause of bacteremia is of concern. The widespread production of aβ-lactamase enzyme rendersMoraxella catarrhalis resistant to the penicillins. Cephalosporins andβ-lactamase inhibitor combinations are effective for treatment ofβ-lactamase producers, and the organism remains nearly universally susceptible to the macrolides, fluoroquinolones, tetracyclines and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole. Two majorβ-lactamase forms, BRO-1 and BRO-2, have been described on the basis of their isoelectric focusing patterns. The BRO-1 enzyme is found in the majority ofβ-lactamase-producing isolates and confers a higher level of resistance to strains than BRO-2. The BRO enzymes are membrane associated and their production appears to be mediated by chromosomal determinants which are transmissible by an unknown mechanism. The origin of these novel proteins is unknown.


Penicillin Respiratory Tract Tetracycline Respiratory Infection Cephalosporin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. McGregor
    • 1
  • B. J. Chang
    • 1
  • B. J. Mee
    • 1
  • T. V. Riley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyThe University of Western Australia, Queen Elizabeth II Medical CentreNedlandsAustralia

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