Bordetella Infections Rare in Children With Cough Illness

Concomitant virus/B. pertussis and B. parapertussis infections are also rare

TUESDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis) and Bordetella parapertussis (B. parapertussis) infections are rarely found in young patients with cough illness, as are concomitant virus/Bordetella infections, according to a study published in the August issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Ulrich Heininger, M.D., and Marie-Anne Burckhardt, M.D., from the University Children's Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, investigated the frequency of unsuspected Bordetella infections, including B. pertussis and B. parapertussis, in ambulatory and hospitalized patients between the ages of 0 and 17 years with a cough and suspected viral respiratory tract infections. A secondary goal was to determine the frequency of concomitant viral respiratory tract and Bordetella infections. Polymerase chain reaction for viral and bacterial pathogens, including B. pertussis and B. parapertussis, was carried out on nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) samples.

The investigators found that, out of a total of 1,059 NPA samples, B. pertussis DNA amplification was found in 21 cases and B. parapertussis was found in five. Of the total number of samples, 877 cases were tested in parallel for respiratory viruses and B. pertussis and B. parapertussis, with 427 cases found to have more than one virus, and 10 cases found to have Bordetella species infection. There were only two samples in which concomitant virus/Bordetella infections were found. Of 268 NPAs positive for respiratory syncytial virus, one had concomitant B. pertussis infection; of 27 NPAs positive for human metapneumovirus, one had concomitant B. pertussis infection.

"B. pertussis and B. parapertussis infections were rare in patients with cough illness and so were concomitant virus/Bordetella infections," the authors write.

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