Pertussis is a contagious, acute respiratory illness caused by the bacterial pathogen Bordetella pertussis. Although it is widely believed that transmission of B. pertussis occurs via aerosolized respiratory droplets, no controlled study has ever documented airborne transmission of pertussis. We set out to determine if airborne transmission occurs between infected and naive animals, utilizing the baboon model of pertussis. Our results showed that 100% of exposed naive animals became infected even when physical contact was prevented, demonstrating that pertussis transmission occurs via aerosolized respiratory droplets.
Authors: Warfel JM, Beren J, Merkel TJ.
Journal:J Infect Dis. 2012 Sep 15