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Moraxella catarrhalis

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A gram-negative aerobic and saprophytic bacterium thrives at the upper respiratory tract in human with no significant pathogenic effects.


Moraxella catarrhalis can tolerate lower temperature at about 28’C in which in culture media, it has a rough surface with pinkish-brown colonies and obscure that is not regularly isolated from the oropharynx of healthy adults but as well found more predominantly in children and older adults.

Moraxella catarrhalis colonization depends on age wherein 1%-5% of adults have upper respiratory tract colonization whereas nasopharyngeal colonization is widespread during infancy that might augment in winter months which causes risk for acute otitis media where various factors including environmental situation, hygiene, genetic characteristics and living conditions contributes to these differences.

Moraxella catarrhalis has been renowned to cause human infections including sinusitis, bronchopneumonia and otitis media as well as occurs rarely in meningitis and endocarditis in which elderly individuals cause lower respiratory tract infections with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, frank pneumonia and chronic bronchitis.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom:  Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Gammaproteobacteria
Order: Pseudomonadales
Family: Moraxellaceae
Genus: Moraxella
Species: Moraxella catarrhalis

See also: