Moraxella is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria in the Moraxellaceae family. It is named after the Swiss ophthalmologist Victor Morax. The organisms are short rods, coccobacilli or, as in the case of Moraxella catarrhalis, diplococci in morphology, with asaccharolytic, oxidase-positive and catalase-positive properties.[2] Moraxella catarrhalis is the clinically most important species under this genus.

Roles in disease[edit]

The organisms are commensals of mucosal surfaces and sometimes give rise to opportunistic infection.[2]

  • Moraxella bovis is the cause of Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis; known colloquially in the United Kingdom as 'New Forest Eye'. As a strict aerobe, M. bovis is confined to the cornea and conjunctiva, resulting in a progressive, non-self-limiting keratitis, ulceration and - ultimately - rupture of the cornea. The disease is relatively common, infecting cattle only. Treatment is via the use of either subconjunctival injection of a Tetracycline, or topical application of Cloxacillin, the former being more effective. The bacterium can be transmitted by flies, so fly control may be necessary on farms throughout the summer. Rupture of the eye is more serious, and requires immediate enucleation, though the procedure itself carries a good prognosis.

Further reading[edit]

  • George M. Garrity (2010-11-24). Bergey's Manual® of Systematic Bacteriology (2 ed.). Springer. ISBN 0387241442. 
  • Martin Dworkin, Stanley Falkow, Eugene Rosenberg, Karl-Heinz Schleifer, Erko Stackebrandt (2006-09-28). The Prokaryotes: Vol. 6: Proteobacteria: Gamma Subclass: A Handbook on the Biology of Bacteria (3 ed.). Springer. ISBN 038725496X. 


  1. ^ a b LPSN
  2. ^ a b c Ala'Aldeen, D. A. A. (2007). "Neisseria and moraxella". In Greenwood, David; Slack, Richard; Peitherer, John; & Barer, Mike (Eds.), Medical Microbiology (17th ed.), p. 258. Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-443-10209-7.
  3. ^ "Gonorrhea Laboratory Information: Moraxella catarrhalis". Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 5, 2012. 

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