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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 19-22
Original Article

Clinical Features Fail to Distinguish Respiratory Infections Caused by Branhamella catarrhalis from Those Caused by Haemophilus Influenzae

Kevin Roy Forward

Departments of Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, St Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Received 10 July 1990; Accepted 19 October 1990

Copyright © 1992 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Branhamella catarrhalis is being isolated with increasing frequency from patients with symptoms and signs of respiratory tract infection. Records of 77 patients were reviewed to define the spectrum of respiratory illness and to compare clinical and laboratory features with those of respiratory infection due to Haemophilus influenzae. Both B catarrhalis and H influenzae caused respiratory infection predominantly in elderly males with underlying heart or lung disease. There were no clinical or laboratory features aside from sputum Gram stain and culture which differentiated the two groups. Although fewer than one-half of each group received antibiotics, no patient developed progressive respiratory disease.