Bordetella pertussis evolution in the (functional) genomics era

Thomas Belcher, Andrew Preston

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The incidence of whooping cough caused by Bordetella pertussis in many developed countries has risen dramatically in recent years. This has been linked to the use of an acellular pertussis vaccine. In addition, it is thought that B. pertussis is adapting under acellular vaccine mediated immune selection pressure, towards vaccine escape. Genomics-based approaches have revolutionised the ability to resolve the fine structure of the global B. pertussis population and its evolution during the era of vaccination. Here, we discuss the current picture of B. pertussis evolution and diversity in the light of the current resurgence, highlight import questions raised by recent studies in this area and discuss the role that functional genomics can play in addressing current knowledge gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberftv064
JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
Issue number8
Early online date22 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2015


  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Evolution
  • Diversity
  • Genomics


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