Journal Article

Tissue culture adherence and haemagglutination characteristics of <i>Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis</i>

Margaret Fitzgerald, Susan Murphy, Riona Mulcahy, Conor Keane, Davis Coakley and Thomas Scott

in FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology

Published on behalf of Federation of Microbiological Societies

Volume 24, issue 1, pages 105-114
Published in print May 1999 | ISSN: 0928-8244
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1574-695X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.1999.tb01271.x
Tissue culture adherence and haemagglutination characteristics of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis

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Abstract

The haemagglutination and tissue culture adherence properties of 20 isolates of Moraxella catarrhalis obtained from the sputum of elderly patients with lower respiratory tract infections were compared with those of 20 isolates of M. catarrhalis obtained from the nasopharynx of elderly persons colonised by the organism. Eighty percent of isolates from the infected group as opposed to 5% of isolates from the colonised group haemagglutinated human erythrocytes (P<0.001), indicating that the haemagglutinin might be a marker of pathogenicity for M. catarrhalis. There was a significant difference in the adherence to HEp-2 cells of isolates from the infected group in comparison to isolates from the colonised group (P=0.03). Haemagglutination and tissue culture adherence properties were unrelated, indicating that separate adhesin systems are involved. The adherence of M. catarrhalis to HEp-2 cells was unaffected following pronase and trypsin treatment, however, sodium periodate pre-treatment of the bacteria significantly reduced the tissue culture adherence index, indicating that the adhesin by which the bacteria bind to HEp-2 cells may have a carbohydrate moiety. Transmission electron microscopy studies revealed that adherence of M. catarrhalis to HEp-2 cells was mediated by trypsin-resistant ‘tack-/spicule-like’ structures protruding from the surface of the bacteria.

Keywords: Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis; Tissue culture adherence assay; HEp-2 cell line; Hemagglutination; Adhesin; Electron microscopy; Transmission electron microscopy; Spicule-like structure

Journal Article.  4561 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Biotechnology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Microbiology ; Molecular and Cell Biology

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