Bordetella infection

Cameron Grant

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Bordetella infection

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  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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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....

Chapter.  2678 words. 

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Infectious Diseases

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