To distinguish Branhamella catarrhalis from Neisseria species a study of 140 strains was made on simple laboratory media, with particular reference to deoxyribonuclease (DNase) production, superoxol reaction, and growth characteristics. All 97 clinical isolates of B catarrhalis (58 of which were beta-lactamase positive) and eight strains of B catarrhalis from the National Collection of Type Cultures were DNase positive and superoxol positive. None grew on modified New York City medium, modified Thayer Martin medium, MacConkey agar, crystal violet blood agar, nor under anaerobic conditions. Of the 16 different non-pathogenic Neisseria species tested, all were DNase negative, eight (50%) were superoxol reaction negative, and 13 (81%) grew on crystal violet blood agar. Using simple laboratory media, DNase, and superoxol tests, it was possible to identify B catarrhalis and to distingish it from pathogenic and non-pathogenic Neisseria species.
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