Respiratory tract infections due to Branhamella catarrhalis: epidemiological data from Western Australia

Epidemiol Infect. 1987 Oct;99(2):445-53. doi: 10.1017/s0950268800067947.


During a 3-year period Branhamella catarrhalis was isolated in significant numbers from 239 (1.3%) of 19,488 specimens of sputum sent for routine microbiological examination at a 700-bed general hospital. The majority of patients (83%) were over 60 years of age and 65% were male. There was a distinct seasonal variation in isolations with a peak incidence during the winter and early spring, a pattern not found with other pathogens. Susceptibility to amoxycillin decreased by approximately 50% over the 3 years, corresponding to an increased incidence of beta-lactamase-producing strains. There were minimal changes in susceptibility to other antimicrobial agents. Underlying pulmonary disease was the major factor predisposing to B. catarrhalis infection, and 71% of patients were smokers or ex-smokers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / drug effects
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / isolation & purification*
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Seasons
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Western Australia