Nosocomial Branhamella catarrhalis in a paediatric intensive care unit: risk factors for disease

J Hosp Infect. 1989 Apr;13(3):299-307. doi: 10.1016/0195-6701(89)90011-x.


There have been few reports on Branhamella catarrhalis as a nosocomial pathogen, and no risk factors for nosocomial infection have been identified. We report 11 cases (mean age 22 months) of nosocomial Branhamella catarrhalis respiratory tract infection in a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) over a two-year period. There were 2 cases of pneumonia and 9 cases of bronchitis. Branhamella catarrhalis was the sole isolate recovered in 6 cases and was associated with other respiratory pathogens in 5 cases. A case-control study with two age-matched controls per patient (mean age 24.1 months) was undertaken to identify potential risk factors for infection; risk factors identified were the presence of an endotracheal tube (p less than 0.02) and frequent endotracheal tube suction (p less than 0.05). Five of 6 tested strains from PICU patients produced beta-lactamase. DNA preparations of 4 B. catarrhalis isolates from PICU patients revealed no plasmids. B. catarrhalis should be considered a potential nosocomial pathogen.

MeSH terms

  • Boston
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / etiology*
  • Cross Infection / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Suction / adverse effects