Pertussis toxin

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Pertussis toxin (PT) is a protein-based AB<sub>5</sub>-type exotoxin produced by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, which causes whooping cough. PT is involved in the colonization of the respiratory tract and the establishment of infection.


Today it is clear that PT plays a central role in the pathogenesis of pertussis. However, this was only discovered in the early 1980s. The appearance of pertussis is quite recent, compared with other epidemic infectious diseases. The earliest mention of pertussis, or whooping cough, is of an outbreak in Paris in 1414. This was published in Moulton’s The Mirror of Health, in 1640. Another epidemic of pertussis took place in Paris in 1578 and was described by a contemporary observer, Guillaume de Baillou. Pertussis was well known throughout Europe by the middle of the eighteenth century. Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou described in 1900 the finding of a new “ovoid bacillus” in the sputum of a 6-month-old infant with whooping cough. They were also the first to cultivate the......
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