Bacteriology-Bordetella | Quick Revision Notes for NEET-PG

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Bordetella pertussis

Strict aerobe

Gram-negative rods

Non-motile and non-sporing(Exception-Bordetella bronchiseptica is motile)


Causes whooping cough/Pertussis/childhood cough

Obligate intracellular parasite

Virulence factor and pathogenesis

-Pertussis toxin/exotoxin causes ADP ribosylation of G protein>increase cAMP in cell>edema>irritation>Intense coughing.It also induce lymphocytosis

Fimbrial Ag-helps in attaching to cell

Adenylate cyclase

Tracheal cytotoxin


B. pertussis infects the upper respiratory system

Mode of infection-Inhalation of aerosols


Catarrhal stage-It is the most infectious stage categorized by nasal discharge

Paroxysmal stage-Paroxysm of intense cough occurs(whooping type of cough)

Convalescent stage-In this stage the frequency of cough decreases

100 days cough(very prolonged)

Lungs become deflated,so,when air enters inflation of narrow tube occurs leading to production of sound

Lab diagnosis

The best specimen to be collected is Nasopharyngeal aspirate by alginate/dacron swab or reveals swab

Transport to the lab, if a delay is expected, then use transport medium like Amies transport medium

Another method for sample collection is cough plate method-here the plate is held 10-15 cms away from the patient’s mouth during a bout of violent coughing. A s the sample is directly inoculated onto the culture plate, it serves as an advantage.

Culture on a selective medium like Bordet gengou agar and Regan lowe medium

Observe the morphology of colony -greyish white convex shiny colonies with the following appearance

-Mercury drop appearance

-Bisected pearls appearance

-Aluminum paint appearance

Gram staining reveal gram-negative coccobacillus  with thumb print appearance


Detection of antibodies with the help of ELISA

Serotyping and genotyping



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