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YOUTUBE
A video of a boy with pertussis (whooping cough), demonstrating the cough's distinctive "whoop" sound.

US Center for Disease Control


Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing. The coughing can make it hard to breathe.
A deep "whooping"sound is often heard when the patient tries to take a breath.



photo: Center of Disease Control

Bordetella parapertussis

  • General information

    • the following information is not yet verified
      Taxonomy
      Family: Alcaligenaceae

      Natural habitat
      B. parapertussis, once thought to be strictly a human pathogen, is also found in sheep.

      The bacterium is spread by airborne droplets, its incubation period is 7-14 days.

      Clinical significance
      B. parapertussis causes a pertussis syndrome similar to but usually less severe than that caused by B. pertussis

      While B. parapertussis may be quite prominent in isolated outbreaks, overall is account for 2-20% of Bordetella isolates.

      Symptomatic
      B. parapertussis infections is more commonly present as a nonspecific cough illness or bronchitis.

      Mixed infections
      by B. pertussis and B. parapertussis have been reported, and this should be considered when examining primary cultures from clinical specimens.

      Pertussis (or whooping cough) ⇒ see B. pertussis

  • Gram stain

    • the following information is not yet verified
      Very small Gram negative coccobacillus,

      1-2 µm,

      they appear singly or in pairs.

  • Culture characteristics

    • the following information is not yet verified

      Obligate aerobic,

      5-10% CO2 improves the growth

      Regan-Lowe-medium
      After 2-3 days the colonies become visible.
      Colonies are very small, round, and domed (less domed) and appear silvery. (mercury-like-droplets)

      BA no growth
      after 3-6 days pinpoint colonies, produce zone of hemolysis

      Regan-Lowe Charcoal Agar
      plates are used for the isolation of B. pertussis.
      It consist of charcoal agar as a basal medium supplemented with cephalexin to inhibit bacteria.
      McConkey no growth
      (B. parapertussis = delayed)

      BBAØ no growth

      Isolates
      ​of B. pertussis and, less so, of B. parapertussis should not be subcultured because they undergo a phase change as described above.
      If strains have to be stored, this should be done with primary clinical isolates, and these should be frozen in glycerol at -70ºC.
      Biosafety level 2 is strongly recommended.

  • Characteristics

  • References

    • James Versalovic et al.(2011) Manual of Clinical Microbiology 10th Edition


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