Rapid and accurate tests capable of distinguishing Bordetella pertussis from milder Bordetella parapertussis infection can aid in treating patients. We evaluated a novel real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method that allows rapid and accurate diagnosis and distinction between B. pertussis and B. parapertussis infections. The method is based on a fluorescent 5'-minor groove-binding molecule hybridization probe that can clearly distinguish between B. pertussis and B. parapertussis by post-PCR melt curve analysis. The reagents worked equally well in several different real-time PCR instruments. The Bordetella detection reagents are combined with internal control components to account for PCR inhibition without compromising assay sensitivity.