Bordetella bronchiseptica is a small, gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that has long been associated with respiratory tract infections in laboratory research, food-producing, companion, and wildlife animal species. Rarely found in humans, B. bronchiseptica can cause symptoms similar to whooping cough in many types of smaller immunocompetent mammals such as dogs, cats, rabbits etc. In immunocompromised hosts, experienced illness can range in severity from mild respiratory symptoms to pneumonia.
In veterinary medicine, B. bronchiseptica leads to a range of pathologies in different hosts. It is a serious disease of dogs, pigs, and rabbits, and has been seen in cats, horses, and seals. A PCR test for the pathogen exists.
B. bronchiseptica and Pasteurella multocida act synergistically in pigs to cause atrophic rhinitis, a disease resulting in arrested growth and distortion of the turbinates (structures on the side wall of the inside of the snout).
B. bronchiseptica causes acute tracheobronchitis in dogs, which typically has a harsh, honking cough. However, it’s important to note that kennel cough can also be caused by canine adenovirus-2 or canine parainfluenza virus or a combination of pathogens.
Cats infected with B. bronchiseptica have been seen with tracheobronchitis, conjunctivitis, and rhinitis (upper respiratory tract infection), mandibular lymphadenopathy and pneumonia. However, URI in cats can also be caused by herpesvirus, calicivirus, Mycoplasma species, or Chlamydia psittaci.
Animals research models:
B. Bronchiseptica can interfere with laboratory research in rats and mice, guinea pigs and rabbits. Often found in the nasal tract in small mammals. B. bronchiseptica can lead to dull and depressed appearance, loss of appetite, loss in body weight, respiratory distress (dyspnea), discharge from nose and eyes, sneezing, coughing, inflamed eye lining (conjunctivitis) or reddening.