Serum resistance in bvg-regulated mutants of Bordetella pertussis

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1998 Jun 1;163(1):57-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1998.tb13026.x.


Serum resistance, or resistance to killing by antibody dependent pathway of complement, in Bordetella pertussis is bvg-regulated and the Bordetella resistance to killing (brk) locus mediates much of the resistance. Here we examined whether other bvg-regulated proteins contribute to serum resistance. We found that neither pertussis toxin, adenylate cyclase toxin, filamentous hemagglutinin, dermonecrotic toxin, tracheal colonization factor, nor Vag8 mutants were sensitive to serum killing compared to the wild-type. Filamentous hemagglutinin has been reported to bind C4 binding protein, an inhibitor of complement, but this activity does not appear to contribute to serum resistance, as evidenced by the resistant phenotype of FHA mutants. Clinical isolates were serum resistant and wild-type strains possessing an additional copy of the brk locus were 2-5-fold more resistant to serum killing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin
  • Adhesins, Bacterial / genetics
  • Adhesins, Bacterial / physiology
  • Adult
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Blood Bactericidal Activity
  • Blood*
  • Bordetella pertussis / genetics
  • Bordetella pertussis / pathogenicity*
  • Complement Pathway, Classical / physiology
  • Hemagglutinins / genetics
  • Hemagglutinins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Mutation / physiology*
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / genetics
  • Whooping Cough / microbiology


  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin
  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • BrkA protein, Bordetella pertussis
  • BrkB protein, Bordetella pertussis
  • BvgA protein, Bacteria
  • Hemagglutinins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • bvgS protein, Bordetella pertussis
  • filamentous hemagglutinin adhesin, Bordetella pertussis
  • Pertussis Toxin