Haemagglutination properties of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis

M. Fitzgerald, S. Murphy, R. Mulcahy, C. Keane, D. Coakley, T. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The ability of 30 isolates of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis to haemagglutinate erythrocytes of five species was examined. Two haemagglutination phenotypes of M. catarrhalis were observed: phenotype I isolates (n = 10) agglutinated human erythrocytes, while phenotype II isolates (n = 7) agglutinated both human and rabbit erythrocytes. No haemagglutination was observed with chick, sheep or horse erythrocytes. Haemagglutination by both phenotype I and II isolates was abolished following treatment of these isolates with pronase and trypsin, while heat treatment at 70°C markedly reduced the level of haemagglutination by both sets of isolates. Haemagglutination by phenotype II isolates was inhibited by galactose, whereas haemagglutination by phenotype I isolates was not inhibited by this carbohydrate. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies showed that very close cell-surface interactions occurred when both phenotypes of M. catarrhalis adhered to the human erythrocyte. Fimbrial attachment was not apparent. Haemagglutinating isolates of both phenotppes had a trypsin-sensitive outer fibrillar coat when examined by TEM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Biomedical Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1996


  • Haemagglutination
  • Haemagglutinin
  • Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Haemagglutination properties of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this