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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #213762

Title: Misidentification of Bordetella bronchiseptica as Bordetella pertussis using a Newly Described RT-PCR Targeting the Pertactin Gene

item Register, Karen
item Nicholson, Tracy

Submitted to: Journal of Medical Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/18/2007
Publication Date: 12/3/2007
Citation: Register, K.B., Nicholson, T.L. 2007. Misidentification of Bordetella bronchiseptica as Bordetella pertussis using a newly described RT-PCR targeting the pertactin gene. Journal of Medical Microbiology. 56:1608-1610.

Interpretive Summary: Other investigators have recently proposed a novel diagnostic assay for identification of Bordetella pertussis based on DNA sequence from the gene for pertactin, an important virulence factor. Based on extensive sequence analysis of the pertactin gene from 88 different isolates of B. bronchiseptica, we report that many of human and avian origin would be mistakenly identified as B. pertussis using the proposed assay. Given the lack of specificity demonstrated by our results, the test cannot be recommended for identification of B. pertussis in the absence of additional confirmatory testing. Further efforts are required to identify highly sensitive and specific targets suitable for definitive identification of B. pertussis by PCR.

Technical Abstract: Recently a real-time PCR (RT-PCT) assay based on sequence from the gene for pertactin was proposed for identification of Bordetella pertussis. Here we report that the B. pertussis pertactin gene sequence for the region encompassing the RT-PCR probe and primers is nearly identical to that of many B. bronchiseptica strains of human and avian origin. Additionally, we demonstrate that such strains are erroneously identified as B. pertussis using the RT-PCR assay. These data suggest that use of the assay without confirmatory testing may result in erroneous identification of a significant proportion of human isolates of B. bronchiseptica as B. pertussis.