Bordetella holmesii-like organisms associated with septicemia, endocarditis, and respiratory failure

Clin Infect Dis. 1998 Feb;26(2):389-92. doi: 10.1086/516323.


We recovered an unusual bacterial strain from blood or sputum of three patients with septicemia, endocarditis, and/or respiratory failure. The three isolates were thin, curved, gram-negative, light brown, pigment-producing bacilli with variable catalase activity. They were asaccharolytic, oxidase-negative, nonmotile, and fastidious. Identification was not possible on the basis of these characteristics alone or in combination with cellular fatty acid profiles. Nucleic acid amplification and sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that all three isolates were identical and most closely related to the emerging pathogen Bordetella holmesii, diverging from the published sequence at three nucleotide positions (99.8% similarity). Isolation of a B. holmesii-like pathogen from sputum suggests that, in addition to producing septicemia, the organism may inhabit the respiratory tract like other Bordetella species.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bordetella / classification
  • Bordetella / genetics*
  • Endocarditis, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / microbiology*
  • Sepsis / microbiology*


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S