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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2012 Mar;64(2):289-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2011.00911.x. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Characterization of Bordetella holmesii isolates from patients with pertussis-like illness in The Netherlands.

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National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Centre for Infectious Diseases Control (CIb), Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Perinatal Screening (LIS), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


Bordetella holmesii is a recently described human pathogen mainly isolated from blood. However, in the US and Canada, B. holmesii has also been cultured from the nasopharynx of patients with pertussis-like symptoms. To the best of our knowledge, respiratory isolates from Europe have not been characterized. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of B. holmesii from Dutch patients with pertussis-like illness. Species determination was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and detection by PCR of IS481 and bhoE, a gene not found in Bordetella pertussis but present in B. holmesii. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) with microarrays revealed that the Dutch isolates formed a cluster distinct from isolates from the US and UK suggesting a distinct population or an epidemiological relationship between the Dutch isolates. All isolates contained a locus involved in iron uptake, previously suggested to originate from B. pertussis. The causes for the apparent increase in the isolation of B. holmesii are discussed.

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