THERE HAS BEEN MUCH RECENT CONCERN over an increasing incidence of pertussis despite high levels of vaccine coverage of infants. Many reports have documented that much of the increased incidence is due to infection in adolescents and adults. This renewal of interest in pertussis comes at a time when the findings of the Bordetella genome project have led to a quantum leap forward in our understanding of the biology, evolution and pathogenesis of the bacterium responsible for the disease. The impact of this basic research on current clinical problems posed by B. pertussis infection is discussed.
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