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Review
, 7 (3), 272-8

Immunomodulation in the Pathogenesis of Bordetella Pertussis Infection and Disease

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Review

Immunomodulation in the Pathogenesis of Bordetella Pertussis Infection and Disease

Nicholas H Carbonetti. Curr Opin Pharmacol.

Abstract

Bordetella pertussis infection of the airways causes the disease pertussis (or whooping cough). The infection can be fatal in infants, but in older children, adolescents and adults usually results in a chronic cough of varying severity that persists long after clearance of the infection. The cause of the cough is unknown, but is presumably a result of the pathogenic effects of one or more of the various virulence factors produced by this bacterium. Accumulating recent evidence indicates that the majority of the virulence-associated effects of these factors is devoted to suppression and modulation of the host immune response, which can be skewed towards the recently described Th17 profile. Although the interplay between virulence factors and immune mechanisms might have evolved to benefit both partners in the host-pathogen interaction, it could also contribute to the severe disease pathology associated with this infection.

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