Bordetella Pertussis is the causative agent of whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease, known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe.
Our Bordetella pertussis product range includes several formats of pertussis toxin and also purified FHA antigen. In addition to applications for vaccine research and within diagnostics kits, our toxin is highly active and widely used in cell biology studies of GTP binding proteins.
Bordetella pertussis Background
Bordetella Pertussis is a gram-negative coccobacillus that belongs to the genus Bordetella. First described in 1906, B. pertussis infection causes a highly contagious respiratory disease in humans, known as whooping cough or pertussis. The organism is thought to be transmitted between humans by aerosol droplets but does not survive for long periods in the environment.
Pertussis infection is localised to the respiratory tract and usually gives causes general malaise followed by a paroxysmal period of coughing lasting 1-6 weeks. Reports suggest that infection may cause an increase in lymphocyte numbers, causing confusion and other neurological symptoms. These symptoms may be caused by B. pertussis virulence factors (Hewlett, EL), which include pertussis toxin, filamentous haemagglutinin, pertactin, adenylate cyclase toxin and tracheal cytotoxin. Currently, the precise mechanism of pathogenesis is still unknown and the relevance of these and other potential virulence factors is still to be determined (CDC).
Until the introduction of a successful vaccine in the 1940s, whooping cough was a common illness in young children worldwide and a major cause of childhood mortality. Subsequent widespread vaccination resulted in a significant decrease in the number of cases worldwide. However, in recent years the number of reported cases have been rising in the developed world. Cases of infection have also been reported in adolescents, young adults and infants that are too young to vaccinate. These reports raise concerns regarding the efficacy of the vaccine currently in use and the possibility of waning immunity in vaccinated individuals (Hartzell, JD).
Currently, diagnosis of infection is achieved using serological techniques and molecular subtyping. However, correct diagnosis is complicated by the fact that symptoms of B. pertussis resemble other respiratory diseases in the early stages, driving a need for more sensitive methods of detection and diagnosis.
- Hewlett, EL (2014). Pertussis Pathogenesis—What We Know and What We Don’t Know. J Infect Dis.209(7): 982–985.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Hartzell, JD and Blaylock, JM (2014). Whooping cough in 2014 and beyond: an update and review. Chest.146(1):205-214.
Bordetella pertussis Antigens
The Native Antigen Company offers two key Bordetella pertussis antigens: the pertussis toxin, and filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA).
Pertussis toxin is most commonly used in immunoassay manufacture and cell biologists studying GTP receptor biology. To meet the variety of needs, we offer pertussis toxin in a range of different formats.
FHA is increasingly used in immunoassays, monitoring responses to pertussis vaccination.
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