The key difference between Bordetella pertussis and parapertussis is that Bordetella pertussisis is a whooping cough-causing bacterium that does secrete pertussis toxin, while Bordetella parapertussis is a whooping cough-causing bacterium that does not secrete pertussis toxin.
Pertussis is a highly contagious disease, which is also known as whooping cough. It is a respiratory disease characterized by uncontrollable violent coughing. This often makes it hard to breathe. Bordetella pertussis and B. parapertussis are two types of bacteria that cause whooping cough in humans. They are identical at the DNA level. They produce many similar virulence factors as well.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Bordetella Pertussis
3. What is Bordetella Parapertussis
4. Similarities – Bordetella Pertussis and Parapertussis
5. Bordetella Pertussis vs Parapertussis in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Bordetella Pertussis vs Parapertussis
What is Bordetella Pertussis?
Bordetella pertussis is a Gram-negative, aerobic, pathogenic, and encapsulated coccobacillus bacterium. It belongs to the genus Bordetella. This bacterium is the causative agent of pertussis or whooping cough. Bordetella pertussis is motile and expresses a flagellum like structure. The virulence factors of this bacterium include pertussis toxin, adenylate cyclise toxin, filamentous haemagglutinin, pertactin, fimbria, and tracheal cytotoxin. This bacterium has peculiar characteristics such as being oxidative positive but urease, nitrate reductase, and citrate negative.
B. pertussis normally spreads by airborne droplets. The incubation period is 7 to 10 days on average. Humans are the only known reservoir for B. pertussis. According to research in 2003, the genome size of B. pertussis is 4,086,186 base pairs. However, the genome size of B. pertussis is greatly reduced compared to its closest relative B. bronchiseptica. It is believed this reduction is mainly due to the adaptation to one host species (human). Pertussis disease is diagnosed through laboratory culturing, PCR, and ELISA. Furthermore, whooping cough is prevented by macrolides like erythromycin. The pertussis vaccine has been used since the second half of the 20th century for the prevention of pertussis.
What is Bordetella parapertussis?
Bordetella parapertussis is a small Gram-negative bacterium of the genus Bordetella. It is adapted to colonize the mammalian respiratory tract. Bordetella parapertussis causes similar symptoms as Bordetella pertussis, but in general, tends to be less severe. Immunity derived from B. pertussis does not protect against infection by B. parapertussis. This is due to the O antigen present in the B. parapertussis. This antigen protects B. parapertussis against antibodies specific to B. pertussis. These findings have also confirmed that B. parapertussis evolved in a host population that had already developed immunity to B. pertussis. Moreover, B. parapertussis is non-motile, oxidative negative, and urease positive.
B. parapertussis have two lineages. The first lineage infects humans and is responsible for a minor number of cases of pertussis disease in humans. The second lineage causes non-progressive pneumonia in sheep. Both of these lineages are thought to have evolved from B. bronchiseptica. To confirm B. Parapertussis, laboratory tests are performed on material collected by placing a flexible swab through the nostril to the back of the nose and throat. Furthermore, parapertussis is treated through azithromycin and clarithromycin.
What are the Similarities Between Bordetella Pertussis and Parapertussis?
- Bordetella pertussis and parapertussis are two types of bacteria that cause whooping cough in humans.
- Both bacteria are Gram-negative and belong to the genus Bordetella.
- Both bacteria may cause similar symptoms in humans.
- They have evolved from bronchiseptica.
- They produce many similar virulence factors as well.
- Their infections are treated mainly through antibiotics.
What is the Difference Between Bordetella Pertussis and Parapertussis?
Bordetella pertussisis is a whooping cough causing bacterium that does secrete pertussis toxin, while Bordetella parapertussis is a whooping cough-causing bacterium that does not secrete pertussis toxin. Thus, this is the key difference between Bordetella pertussis and parapertussis. Furthermore, B. pertussis infects only humans, while B. parapertussis is infecting both humans and sheep.
The below infographic presents the differences between Bordetella pertussis and parapertussis in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Bordetella Pertussis vs Parapertussis
Bordetella pertussis and parapertussis are two bacteria that cause whooping cough in humans. Both bacteria are gram-negative and belong to the genus Bordetella. B. pertussisis secretes pertussis toxin while B. parapertussis does not secrete pertussis toxin. So, this is the key difference between Bordetella pertussis and parapertussis.
1. “Bordetella pertussis on Charcoal Agar supplemented with Cephalexin – Detail” By Nathan Reading from Halesowen, UK – Bordetella pertussis on Charcoal Agar – detail (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “1471-2148-6-3-4” By Phylogeny Figures (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr