Genetic diversity and relationships in populations of Bordetella spp.

J. M. Musser, E. L. Hewlett, M. S. Peppler, R. K. Selander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Genetic diversity in 60 strains of three nominal Bordetella species recovered from humans and other mammalian hosts was assessed by analyzing electrophoretically demonstrable allelic variation at structural genes encoding 15 enzymes. Eleven of the loci were polymorphic, and 14 distinctive electrophoretic types, representing multilocus genotypes, were identified. The population structure of Bordetella spp. is clonal, and genetic diversity is relatively limited compared with most other pathogenic bacteria and is insufficient to justify recognition of three species. All isolates of Bordetella parapertussis were of one electrophoretic type, which was closely similar to 9 of the 10 electrophoretic types represented by isolates of Bordetella bronchiseptica. Bordetella pertussis 18-323, which is used in mouse potency tests of vaccines, is more similar genetically to isolates of B. bronchiseptica and B. parapertussis than to other isolates currently assigned to the species B. pertussis. Apart from strain 18-323, the isolates of B. pertussis represented only two closely related clones, and all isolates of B. pertussis from North America (except strain 18-323) were genotypically identical. Strain Dejong, which has been classified as B. bronchoseptica, was strongly differentiated from all of the other Bordetella isolates examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic diversity and relationships in populations of Bordetella spp.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this