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B. petrii Infection with Persistence in Human | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 4–April 2011

Volume 17, Number 4–April 2011
Bordetella petrii Infection with Long-lasting Persistence in Human
Alain Le Coustumier, Elisabeth Njamkepo, Vincent Cattoir, Sophie Guillot, and Nicole Guiso

Author affiliations: Centre Hospitalier, Cahors, France (A. Le Coustumier); Institut Pasteur, Paris, France (E. Njamkepo, S. Guillot, N. Guiso); and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Côte de Nacre, Caen, France (V. Cattoir)

Suggested citation for this article

We report the repeated isolation of Bordetella petrii in the sputum of a 79-year-old female patient with diffuse bronchiectasis and persistence of the bacterium for >1 year. The patient was first hospitalized due to dyspnea, which developed into severe cough with purulent sputum that yielded B. petrii on culture. After this first episode, the patient was hospitalized an additional 4 times with bronchorrhea symptoms. The isolates collected were analyzed by using biochemical, genotypic, and proteomic tools. Expression of specific proteins was analyzed by using serum samples from the patient. The B. petrii isolates were compared with other B. petrii isolates collected from humans or the environment and with isolates of B. pertussis, B. parapertussis, B. bronchiseptica, and B. holmesii, obtained from human respiratory tract infections. Our observations indicate that B. petrii can persist in persons with chronic pulmonary obstructive disease as has been previously demonstrated for B. bronchiseptica.

The genus Bordetella comprises 9 species; all, except B. petrii, are obligatorily associated with host organisms (1). The first isolations of B. ansorpii were from a cyst (2) and from a blood sample (3), whereas B. trematum has been isolated from infected ears and from wounds in humans. The reservoir and the pathogenic role of these 2 species remain unknown (4). B. pertussis, a strictly human pathogen, and B. parapertussis, a pathogen in both humans and sheep, are agents of whooping cough (5). B. avium and B. hinzii caused respiratory infections in birds and poultry and have also been reported to cause infections in humans (6–9). The latter 4 Bordetella spp. are usually described as extracellular bacteria that secrete adhesins and toxins adapted to their hosts (10).

However, 2 other Bordetella species, B. bronchiseptica and B. holmesii, behave differently and are able to persist inside their hosts. B. bronchiseptica is a respiratory pathogen which may cause acute or chronic bronchopneumonia and is found in many animals, including dogs, cats, pigs, and rabbits, as well as humans (11,12). B. holmesii, originally described as Centers for Disease Control and Prevenion nonoxidizer group 2 (NO-2), has been isolated from the blood cultures of young adults, mostly with underlying disorders or from sputum (13–15). The reservoir of this bacterium is unknown. However, B. petrii has also been isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis (16–19). Unlike the "classical" pathogenic species, B. pertussis and B. parapertussis, B. petrii, B. holmesii, and B. bronchiseptica, have the ability to acquire or exchange genomic regions (20,21). B. petrii possesses the largest number of huge genomic islands collectively known as integrative and conjugative elements (22,23). Several determinants of virulence expressed by B. pertussis, B. parapertussis, and B. bronchiseptica, such as filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertactin (PRN), and fimbriae (Fim2 and Fim3), and toxins such as pertussis toxin (PT) and adenylate cyclise-hemolysin (AC-Hly) were not detected in B. petrii, except for an FHA-related adhesin with low similarity (22). In this study, we describe an immunocompetent adult with predisposing factors (chronic obstructive respiratory disease and local corticotherapy) who acuired an acute B. petrii infection that had long-lasting persistence.

B. petrii Infection with Persistence in Human | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article
Le Coustumier A, Njamkepo E, Cattoir V, Guillot S, Guiso N. Bordetella petrii infection with long-lasting persistence in human. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Apr [date cited].

DOI: 120.3201/eid1704.101480

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Nicole Guiso, Institut Pasteur, Molecular Prevention and Therapy of Human Diseases, National Reference Centre of Pertussis and Bordetellosis, 25 rue du Dr roux, 75724 Paris CEDEX 15, France
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