Moraxella catarrhalis is a human-specific bacterium previously discounted as a simple commensal organism with only limited pathogenic potential. This view has changed considerably and we now know that M. catarrhalis is associated with a range of disease states affecting both children and adults. In particular, M. catarrhalis tends to be associated with upper respiratory tract infections, including otitis media and sinusitis in children and lower respiratory tract infections in adults with pre-existing pulmonary disease, e.g., exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Colonization with this bacterium is especially common in infants and young children, the age group most affected by M. catarrhalis-mediated disease. Research is just beginning to unravel the complex interaction between this pathogen and the human host and is providing insights into its diverse genetic population structure and numerous virulence traits. These latter markers include multiple potential cellular adhesion molecules that are currently being researched as potential vaccine candidates. This mini-review is intended to provide the reader with a short introduction to M. catarrhalis as a pathogen and includes recent advances in the understanding of mechanisms associated with bacterial virulence.

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The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hays, J. (2009). Moraxella catarrhalis: A mini review. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (Vol. 4, pp. 211–220). doi:10.3233/JPI-2009-0167