Among virulence factors synthesized and secreted by Bordetella pertussis, pertussis toxin (PTX) and the bifunctional adenylate cyclase-hemolysin (AC-Hly) are able to invade mammalian cells and to impair intracellular functions. Moreover, both proteins are protective antigens in murine intracerebral and respiratory models. In order to study their in vivo properties, different B. pertussis mutants, deficient in AC-Hly expression or secretion, or producing modified AC-Hly devoid of either adenylate cyclase or hemolytic activities, were constructed and examined. The in vivo properties of the mutants were compared to PTX deficient strains, using the murine respiratory model. We show that lack of PTX as well as adenylate cyclase or hemolytic activities results in avirulence. Furthermore, we show that mutants lacking adenylate cyclase or hemolytic activities were unable to multiply as fast as the parental strains and PTX mutants during the first 5 days following infection. Thus, both adenylate cyclase and hemolytic activities are required by B. pertussis to initiate infection.