European Journal of Clinical Microbiology

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 123–128 | Cite as

Mixed outbreak ofBordetella pertussis andBordetella parapertussis infection in Finland

  • J. Mertsola


The epidemiology of whooping cough in a vaccinated population was studied during an outbreak of paroxysmal cough in an elementary school with 258 pupils in Turku, Finland. Nasopharyngeal specimens for isolation ofBordetella pertussis and/or sera for ELISA detection of antipertussis immunoglobulin M, A and G antibodies were taken from 94 % of children who were prospectively followed for two months.Bordetella pertussis was isolated in six patients, and 17 culture-positive cases withBordetella parapertussis were identified. Patients withBordetella pertussis orBordetella parapertussis were found simultaneously in the same classrooms. Comparison of immunoglobulin M responses toBordetella pertussis andBordetella parapertussis was used for differential diagnosis of these two infections. Twenty-six cases with pertussis and 27 cases with parapertussis were diagnosed. The results of this prospective study suggest thatBordetella parapertussis is a more common etiologic agent of mild respiratory tract infection among vaccinated school-aged children than is generally recognised. The possibility thatBordetella pertussis was converted toBordetella parapertussis during this outbreak is discussed.


Internal Medicine Differential Diagnosis Tract Infection Respiratory Tract Respiratory Tract Infection 
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Copyright information

© Vieweg Publishing 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Mertsola
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Microbiology and PediatricsUniversity of TurkuTurku 52Finland

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