Chair of Microbiology

    Bordetella pertussis

    Bordetella pertussis is the etiological agent of whooping cough, a severe infection of the respiratory tract which is particularly dangerous for young infants. The first symptoms of an infection are quite unspecific and thus the disease is frequently diagnosed only quite late, at a time point in which an antibiotics therapy may not be effective anymore. The best way to combat this severe disease thus is prevention by vaccination. Since the introduction of vaccination using classical vaccines consisting of inactivated bacteria the incidence of the disease decreased drastically. However, since the introduction of less reactogenic acellular vaccines, the incidence of pertussis is significantly increasing again in several countries. Therefore, the development of better vaccines is required.