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Bordetella infection 

Bordetella infection
Bordetella infection

Cameron Grant



Description of Bordetella species updated to include Bordetella hinzii, B. trematum, and B. petrii.

Role of B. pertussis virulence factors in immunoregulation as a potential pathogenic mechanism for severe disease.

Re-emergence of pertussis in many countries since the 1990s and the factors that have contributed to this.

Contribution to global mortality in children less than 5 years old updated.

Summary of newer immunization strategies that seek to prevent disease transmission to infants.

The high proportion of pertussis cases for which the clinical illness is atypical.

Updated information on the serological diagnosis of pertussis.

Current recommendations for antimicrobial therapy and the lack of efficacy of treatments for pertussis-induced cough.

Updated information on local reactions to sequential doses of pertussis vaccine.

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date: 19 September 2021

Bordetella are small Gram-negative coccobacilli, of which Bordetella pertussis is the most important human pathogen. It is the cause of whooping cough, which is one of the 10 leading causes of childhood death. Transmission of this highly infectious organism is primarily by aerosolized droplets.

Clinical features—presentation varies with age, immunization and previous infection: (1) infants—apnoea, cyanosis, and paroxysmal cough; (2) nonimmunized children—cough, increasing in severity with distressing, repeated, forceful expirations followed by a gasping inhalation (the ‘whoop’); (3) children immunized in infancy—whooping, vomiting, sputum production; (4) adults—cough, post-tussive vomiting. Atypical mild illness is common. Complications include pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension, seizures and encephalopathy. Most deaths occur in those less than 2 months old....

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