General Information: This strain was originally isolated from a patient with whooping cough and has been studied extensively for over 40 years. Causative agent of whooping cough. This group of organisms is capable of invading the respiratory tract of animals and causing severe diseases. They express a number of virulence factors in order to do this including filamentous hemagglutins for attachment, cytotoxins, and proteins that form a type III secretion system for transport of effector molecules into host cells. This organism, which is unable to persist in the environment, is a strict human pathogen that causes whooping cough. Once a common cause of death in children the development of a vaccine has greatly decreased the number of deaths due to Bordetella pertussis. However, this organism infects and estimated 39 million people and kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.