Temporal analysis of French Bordetella pertussis isolates by comparative whole-genome hybridization

Microbes Infect. 2006 Jul;8(8):2228-35. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2006.04.014. Epub 2006 Jun 6.


Bordetella pertussis, a gram-negative beta-proteobacterium, is the agent of whooping cough in humans. Whooping cough remains a public health problem worldwide, despite well-implemented infant/child vaccination programs. It continues to be endemic and is observed cyclically in vaccinated populations. Classical molecular subtyping methods indicate that genome diversity among B. pertussis isolates is limited. Although the whole bacterial genome has been studied by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, the genes implicated in the diversity have not been identified. We developed a B. pertussis whole-genome DNA microarray representing over 91% of the predicted coding sequences of the sequenced strain Tohama I. Genomic DNA from clinical isolates with various pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profile patterns was competitively hybridized with the DNA microarray and coding sequences were classified as present, absent or duplicated. Our data strongly suggest that the B. pertussis population is dynamic. In France, with highly vaccinated population, the genetic diversity is low and decreasing with time, and clonal expansion correlates with cycles of the disease. This decrease in diversity is essentially due to loss of genes and pseudogenes. The genes deleted are most of the time flanked by insertion sequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bordetella pertussis / classification*
  • Bordetella pertussis / genetics*
  • Bordetella pertussis / isolation & purification
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • France
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Whooping Cough / microbiology*


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial