ISSN 2398-2969      

Bordetella bronchiseptica


Synonym(s): B. bronchiseptica




  • Phylum: Proteobacteria.
  • Class: Betaproteobacteria.
  • Order: Burkholderiales.
  • Family: Alcaligenaceae.
  • Genus:Bordetella.
  • Species:bronchiseptica.


  • Bordetella: named after Jules Bordet who, together with Gengou, first isolated the organism causing pertussis.
  • Bronchiseptica: Gk: bronchus - the trachea; septicus - putrefractive, septic; bronchiseptica - with an infected bronchus.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects



  • Primarily parasite of the ciliated respiratory epithelium of mammals and birds.
  • Found in wild and domestic carnivores, rodents, pigs, rabbits, horses and other herbivores, primates and turkeys.
  • Presence does not necessarily indicate disease.
  • Can survive in lakewater and soil.


  • Reproduces asexually.
  • Some conjugation with transfer of plamsids probably occurs.


  • By aerosol.
  • Most mammalian infections are airborne.
  • Infection may spread indirectly between turkeys in water and litter.
  • Evidence of transmission between different species.

Pathological effects

  • Predilection for ciliated cells of respiratory epithelium.
  • Adheres to the epithelial cells and produces a range of virulence factors including adenyl cyclase and tracheal cytotoxin which protects the organisms from phagocytosis by host cells and causes ciliary paralysis. Rapid proliferation of the organism and inflammation follow.
  • Dermonecrotizing toxin is formed, which is responsible for nasal turbinate atrophy in young pigs and may be important in other infections.

diseases caused

  • Atrophic rhinitis (in conjunction withPasturella multocida  Pasteurella multocida  ) and bronchopneumonia in pigs.
  • Canine infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) in dogs; this may be in association with viruses.
  • Upper or lower respiratory tract infection in rabbits, guinea pigs and rats (may also cause septicemia).
  • Rare human infections; more common in immunocompromised patients.
  • One report of human infection from a rabbit.
  • Respiratory disease in cats and horses.

Other Host Effects

  • Commensal in upper respiratory tract.


Control via animal

  • This is difficult asB. bronchisepticais a normal commensal of healthy individual animals.
  • Strategies aimed at reducing stress and over-crowding may be helpful.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Atrophic rhinitis is untreatable.
  • Kennel cough responds poorly to antibiotics; most isolates sensitivein vitroto tetracyclines   Oxytetracycline  , chloramphenicol   Chloramphenicol  and fluoroquinolones   Enrofloxacin  .

Control via environment

  • This is difficult as most infections are airbourne.
  • Providing a solid barrier at animal height may help as well as good hygiene and paying attention to minimizing stress and over-crowding.
  • Fogging with quaternary ammonium antiseptics may reduce the airbourne organism.


  • Intranasal vaccine available for dogs.


This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Binns S H, Speakman A J, Dawson S et al (1998) The use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to examine the epidemiology of Bordetella bronchiseptica isolates from cats and other species. Epidemiology & Infection 120 (2), 201-208 PubMed.
  • Deeb B J, DiGiacomo R F, Bernard B L et al (1990) Pasteurella multocida and Bordetella bronchiseptica infections in rabbits. J Clin Microbiol 28 (1), 70-75 PubMed.
  • Glávits R & Magyar T (1990) The pathology of experimental respiratory infection with Pasteurella multocida and Bordetella bronchiseptica in rabbits. Acta Vet Hung 38 (3), 211-215 PubMed.
  • Watson W T, Goldsboro J A, Williams F P et al (1975) Experimental respiratory infection with Pasteurella multocida and Bordetella bronchiseptica in rabbits. Lab Anim Sci 25 (4), 459-464 PubMed.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!


To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code