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Keywords:

  • Bordetella pertussis;
  • pertussis toxin promoter;
  • real-time PCR;
  • strain variation;
  • whooping cough

Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: E377–E379

Abstract

Bordetella pertussis strains with the pertussis toxin promoter allele ptxP3 have expanded and replaced resident ptxP1 strains in several European countries. We developed an allele-specific real-time PCR method to identify strains with the allele ptxP3, and investigated the emergence of ptxP3 strains by genotyping Finnish clinical isolates (n = 524) from 1953 to 2010. The first ptxP3 strain was detected in 1994, and has become predominant since 2003. Our results demonstrate that the allele-specific real-time PCR is a suitable method for rapid detection of ptxP3 strains, and show the emergence and establishment of ptxP3 strains in Finland.