Epidemiology of whooping cough & typing of Bordetella pertussis

Future Microbiol. 2013 Nov;8(11):1391-403. doi: 10.2217/fmb.13.111.


Bordetella pertussis is a Gram-negative human-restricted bacterium that evolved from the broad-range mammalian pathogen, Bordetella bronchiseptica. It causes whooping cough or pertussis in humans, which is the most prevalent vaccine-preventable disease worldwide. The introduction of the pertussis whole-cell vaccination for young children, followed by the introduction of the pertussis acellular vaccination (along with booster vaccination) for older age groups, has affected the bacterial population and epidemiology of the disease. B. pertussis is relatively monomorphic worldwide, but nevertheless, different countries are facing different epidemiological evolutions of the disease. Although it is tempting to link vaccine-driven phenotypic and genotypic evolution of the bacterium to epidemiology, many other factors should be considered and surveillance needs to continue, in addition to studies investigating the impact of current clinical isolates on vaccine efficacy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Bordetella pertussis / classification
  • Bordetella pertussis / genetics
  • Bordetella pertussis / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Whooping Cough / epidemiology*
  • Whooping Cough / microbiology*