Bordetella holmesii: Still Emerging and Elusive 20 Years On.

Since the first description of Bordetella holmesii in 1995, almost 100 publications have contributed to the increasing knowledge of this emerging bacterium. Although first reported to induce bacteremia mainly in immunocompromised patients, it has also been isolated in healthy persons and has shown the capacity to induce pertussis-like symptoms and other clinical entities, such as meningitis, arthritis, or endocarditis. Respiratory diseases are generally less severe than those induced by Bordetella pertussis. However, B. holmesii was found to have a higher capacity of invasiveness given the various infection sites in which it was isolated. The diagnosis is difficult, particularly as it is a slow-growing organism but also because respiratory infections are systematically misdiagnosed as B. pertussis. Treatment is delicate, as its susceptibility to macrolides (prescribed in respiratory infections) and ceftriaxone (used in invasive disease) is challenged. Regarding prevention, there is no consensus on prophylactic treatment following index cases and no vaccine is available. Epidemiological data are also sparse, with few prevalence studies available. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the current state of knowledge on B. holmesii.

Authors:Pittet LF, Posfay-Barbe KM.
Journal:Microbiol Spectr. 2016