Science Library Abstract
Published: 2015

Bordetella parapertussis infection causes pertussis-like illness that might be misclassified as pertussis if B. parapertussis testing is not performed.


Widespread Bordetella parapertussis Infections—Wisconsin, 2011–2012: Clinical and Epidemiologic Features and Antibiotic Use for Treatment and Prevention


Ruth Koepke, Michael L. Bartholomew, Jens C. Eickhoff, Roman A. Ayele, Diane Rodd, Joan Kuennen, Jean Rosekrans, David M. Warshauer, James H. Conway, Jeffrey P. Davis, Widespread Bordetella parapertussis Infections—Wisconsin, 2011–2012: Clinical and Epidemiologic Features and Antibiotic Use for Treatment and Prevention, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 61, Issue 9, 1 November 2015, Pages 1421–1431,


The number of B. parapertussis infections observed in Wisconsin during October 2011–December 2012 (n = 443) is the largest reported in the United States. Observations of B. parapertussis infections, including a mixed outbreak of B. pertussis, B. parapertussis, and B. holmseii infections in Ohio during 2010–2010, have been reported recently in the United States, likely because of increased use of PCR testing to detect B. parapertussis. Despite increased testing, the burden of B. parapertussis infection in the United States is challenging to measure because testing that differentiates Bordetella species is not universal.

This percentage of Bordetella specimens positive for B. parapertussis is similar to previous observations in Wisconsin (culture: 11.9%; PCR: 14.3% and in other states (range: 10%–14.9%), which indicates that infection with B. parapertussis is endemic in the United States and will be identified when testing for B. parapertussis is routinely conducted.

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