Shattering a myth: Whooping cough susceptible to antibiotics

Muhammad Ali Syed, Bushra Jamil, Habib Bokhari

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Bordetella parapertussis is the causative agent of a milder form of pertussis or whooping cough. Little is reported about the antibiotic resistance patterns and mechanism of drug resistance of Bordetella parapertussis. The objective of this study has been to investigate antimicrobial resistance, distribution of integrons and presence of gene cassettes to quinolones (qnr) and sulfonamides (sul) among B. parapertussis strains' isolated from Pakistan. Thirty-five (35) samples were collected from various hospitals of Pakistan from children (median age 3 years) with pertussis-like symptoms, all were tested and confirmed to be B. Parapertussis. Resistance profile of Ampicillin, Cephalexin, Sulphamethoxazole, Chloramphenicol, Ofloxacin, Nalidixic acid, Gentamycin and Erythromycin were investigated through all samples. Majority of the isolates were found to be resistant to the afore-mentioned antibiotics except erythromycin. All isolates were resistant to quinolones phenotypically, but qnr genes were detected in only 25.7% (9/35) of isolates. On the other hand, 71.4% (25/35) isolates were resistant to sulfonamides phenotypically. From these 71% strains showing phenotypical resistance, 96% (24/25) were found to possess sul genes. Only two isolates were carrying class 1 integrons, which also harbored sul gene and qnr gene cassettes. It can be safely concluded that the phenotypic resistance patterns seemed mostly independent of presence of integrons. However, interestingly both integrons harboring strains were resistant to quinolones and sulfonamides and also possessed qnr and sul genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-990
Number of pages6
JournalPakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • B. parapertussis
  • Drug resistance
  • Integrons
  • Quinolones
  • Sulfonamides


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