Bordetella species is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Antibiotic (ABX) Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Bordetella are small, aerobic Gram negative coccobacilli.
  • Organisms are fastidious, need special media (such as charcoal blood agar with cephalexin, Regan Lowe or Bordet-Gengou media) for isolation.
  • Species:
    • B. pertussis: most common etiology of whooping cough and exclusively a human pathogen.
    • B. parapertussis: leads to less severe but similar symptoms.
    • B. bronchiseptica (agent of kennel cough)
    • B. holmesii: rarely have been implicated to cause human respiratory disease. May cause sepsis in an immunocompromised patients.
    • B. trematum: rarely found in wounds and ear infections.
    • B. hinzii: uncommon cause of sepsis in immunocompromised hosts.
    • B. avium: pathogen identified only in birds.

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