Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Virus and Prion Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #252950

Title: Evaluation of the Specificity of BP3385 for Bordetella pertussis

item Register, Karen
item Nicholson, Tracy
item GUTHRIE, J - Ontario Central Public Health Laboratory

Submitted to: Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2010
Publication Date: 7/14/2010
Citation: Register, K.B., Nicholson, T.L., Guthrie, J.L. 2010. Evaluation of the Specificity of BP3385 for Bordetella pertussis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 48(9):3334-3337.

Interpretive Summary: Bordetella pertussis is an obligate human pathogen and the causative agent of whooping cough. Culture and biochemical testing are currently recommended for identification, but the process is slow and fails to detect many cases. Efforts have been made to identify genes that occur in B. pertussis, but not in several closely related species that infect both humans and farm, companion or wild animals, that could be exploited as diagnostic targets. It was previously suggested by others that the B. pertussis gene BP3385 is specific for B. pertussis, but only a limited number of isolates from closely related Bordetella species was examined. Here we evaluated a genetically and geographically diverse group of 112 Bordetella bronchiseptica isolates, 23 Bordetella hinzii isolates and 7 Bordetella avium isolates, including many of human origin, to more thoroughly establish the specificity of BP3385 for B. pertussis. BP3385 was not present in any B. avium isolate but was found in 3.6% of B. bronchiseptica strains and 47.8% of B. hinzii strains evaluated. These results demonstrate that BP3385 is not a suitable diagnostic target for highly specific detection of B. pertussis. Ongoing Bordetella genome sequencing projects and global genome comparisons will perhaps identify promising alternative targets.

Technical Abstract: BP3385 has been proposed as a diagnostic PCR target for discriminating between Bordetella pertussis and other Bordetella species that also infect humans. Our results demonstrate this gene is also present in some strains of Bordetella hinzii and Bordetella bronchiseptica.