The molecular diagnosis of pertussis and parapertussis syndromes is based on the detection of insertion sequences (IS) 481 and 1001, respectively. However, these IS are also detected in the genomes of various Bordetella species, such that they are not specific for either B. pertussis or B. parapertussis. Therefore, we screened the genome of recently circulating isolates of Bordetella species to compare the prevalence of IS481, IS1001 and, also IS1002 with previously published data and to sequence all IS detected. We also investigated whether the numbers of IS481 and IS1001 copies vary in recently circulating isolates of the different Bordetella species. We used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for screening the genome of circulating isolates and to prepare the fragments for sequencing. We used Southern blotting and quantitative real-time PCR for quantification of the numbers of IS. We found no significant diversity in the sequences of the IS harboured in the genomes of the Bordetella isolates screened, except for a 71-nucleotide deletion from IS1002 in B. bronchiseptica. The IS copy numbers in the genome of recently circulating isolates were similar to those in reference strains. Our results confirm that biological diagnosis targeting the IS481 and IS1001 elements are not specific and detect the species B. pertussis, B. holmesii and B. bronchiseptica (IS481), and B. parapertussis and B. bronchiseptica (IS1001).