Bordetella bronchiseptica

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Bordetella bronchiseptica
Scanning electron micrograph of B. bronchiseptica
Scanning electron micrograph of B. bronchiseptica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Beta Proteobacteria
Order: Burkholderiales
Family: Alcaligenaceae
Genus: Bordetella
Species: B. bronchiseptica
Binomial name
Bordetella bronchiseptica
(Ferry 1912)
Moreno-López 1952

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium of the genus Bordetella and a causative agent of infectious bronchitis.[1] Closely related to B. pertussis[2]—the obligate human pathogen which causes pertussis or whooping coughB. bronchiseptica can persist in the environment for extended periods.[3]


Unlike B. pertussis or B. parapertussis, humans are not natural carriers of B. bronchiseptica, which typically infects the respiratory tracts of smaller mammals (cats, dogs, rabbits, etc).[2]

While B. bronchiseptica does not express pertussis toxin which is one of the characteristic virulence factors of B. pertussis, it does contain the genes to do so, highlighting the close evolutionary relationship between the two species.[4],[5]

Veterinary pathogenesis

In veterinary medicine, B. bronchiseptica leads to a range of pathologies in different hosts. B. bronchiseptica and Pasteurella multocida act synergistically to cause atrophic rhinitis in pigs, a disease resulting in arrested growth and distortion of the turbinates in the nasal terminus (or snout) [6]. B. bronchiseptica is also a causative agent of acute tracheobronchitis in dogs [7] (see Kennel cough) and in rabbits and guinea pigs B. bronchiseptica leads to a nearly asymptomatic infection known as snuffles [8].


  1. Ryan KJ; Ray CG (editors) (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed. ed.). McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-8385-8529-9.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Finger H, von Koenig CHW (1996). Bordetella. In: Barron's Medical Microbiology (Barron S et al, eds.) (4th ed. ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. (via NCBI Bookshelf) ISBN 0-9631172-1-1.
  3. Coote JG (2001). "Environmental sensing mechanisms in Bordetella". Adv Microb Physiol. 44: 141–81. PMID 11407112.
  4. Mattoo S, Foreman-Wykert AK, Cotter PA, Miller JF (2001). "Mechanisms of Bordetella pathogenesis". Front Biosci. 6: E168–86. PMID 11689354.
  5. Diavatopoulos DA, Cummings CA, Schouls LM, Brinig MM, Relman DA, Mooi FR (2005). "Bordetella pertussis, the Causative Agent of Whooping Cough, Evolved from a Distinct, Human-Associated Lineage of B. bronchiseptica". PLoS Pathog. 1 (4): e45. PMID 16389302.
  6. Lawhorn, Bruce. "Atrophic Rhinitis" (PDF). Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Retrieved 2006-11-23.
  7. Wagener, J. S., R. Sobonya, L. Minnich and L. M. Taussig (1984). Role of canine parainfluenza virus and Bordetella bronchiseptica in kennel cough. Am J Vet Res 45(9): 1862-6.
  8. Burns, E. H., Jr., J. M. Norman, M. D. Hatcher and D. A. Bemis (1993). Fimbriae and determination of host species specificity of Bordetella bronchiseptica. J Clin Microbiol 31(7): 1838-44

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