The genomes of three closely related bordetellae are currently being sequenced, thus providing an opportunity for comparative genomic approaches driven by an understanding of the comparative biology of these three bacteria. Although the other strains being sequenced are well studied, the strain of Bordetella parapertussis chosen for sequencing is a recent human clinical isolate (strain 12822) that has yet to be characterized in detail. This investigation reports the first phenotypic characterization of this strain, which will likely become the prototype for this species in comparison with the prototype strains of B. pertussis (Tohama I), B. bronchiseptica (RB50), and other isolates of B. parapertussis. Multiple in vitro and in vivo assays distinguished each species. B. parapertussis was more similar to B. bronchiseptica than to B. pertussis in many assays, including in BvgS signaling characteristics, presence of urease activity, regulation of urease expression by BvgAS, virulence in the respiratory tracts of immunocompromised mice, induction of anti-Bordetella antibodies, and serum antimicrobial resistance. In other assays, B. parapertussis was distinct from all other species (in pigment production) or more similar to B. pertussis (by lack of motility and cytotoxicity to a macrophage-like cell line). These results begin to provide phenotypes that can be related to genetic differences identified in the genomic sequences of bordetellae.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases