Bordetella Bronchiseptica in Humans: Treatment Options and More


Are you familiar with bordetella bronchiseptica in humans? In the world of infectious diseases, Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that primarily affects animals. However, it can also cause respiratory infections in humans. This article explores the symptoms, treatment options, and preventive measures related to this sickness in humans.

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What is Bordetella Bronchiseptica?


Bordetella bronchiseptica is a type of bacterium. It is named after the scientists Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou, who first identified it in the late 19th century. This bacterium is known for causing respiratory infections in various animals, human infections, and human infections, particularly in dogs, cats, and rabbits. It primarily affects the respiratory system, leading to symptoms such respiratory illnesses such as coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge.

Bordetella bronchiseptica is highly contagious and can spread easily from one animal to another through direct contact or respiratory droplets. It can also be transmitted indirectly through contaminated objects or surfaces. This bacterium is less common in humans, but it can cause respiratory infections in people who have close contact with infected animals, such as veterinarians, pet owners, or individuals working in animal shelters.

In humans, Bordetella bronchiseptica infections typically present symptoms similar to other respiratory infections, including a persistent cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and mild to moderate fever. The severity of symptoms may vary from person to person. Most cases of Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in humans are mild and self-limiting, and individuals often recover without specific treatment.

How is Bordetella Bronchiseptica Transmitted?


Bordetella bronchiseptica is primarily transmitted through close contact with infected animals. The bacterium can spread from one animal to another through various routes.

Direct contact with respiratory secretions is one of the main modes of transmission. When an infected animal coughs, sneezes, or exhales, respiratory droplets containing the bacterium can be released into the air. If a person comes into contact with these droplets, either by inhaling them or through contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth, they can become infected.

Indirect transmission can also occur through contaminated objects or surfaces. If an infected animal has recently been in contact with an object, such as a toy, food bowl, or bedding, the bacterium can survive on the surface of these items. If a person touches the contaminated object and then touches their face or mucous membranes, through respiratory tract infections they can potentially introduce the bacterium into their respiratory system.

Symptoms of Bordetella Bronchiseptica Infection

When Bordetella bronchiseptica infects humans, it primarily affects the respiratory system, leading to symptoms similar to other respiratory infections. The two patients common symptoms of Bordetella bronchiseptica infection include:

Persistent Cough

A persistent and often dry cough is a common symptom of Bordetella bronchiseptica infection. The cough may be accompanied by a tickling or irritating sensation in the throat.

Runny or Stuffy Nose

Many individuals with Bordetella bronchiseptica infection experience a runny or stuffy nose. Nasal congestion and discharge may be present.


Frequent sneezing is another symptom that may occur in individuals with Bordetella bronchiseptica infection. It is often associated with nasal irritation.

Sore Throat

A sore throat can develop as a result of the infection. The throat may feel scratchy, painful, or swollen, making swallowing uncomfortable.

Mild to Moderate Fever

Some individuals may experience a mild to moderate fever, typically ranging from 100°F (37.8°C) to 102°F (38.9°C). The fever is usually accompanied by other respiratory symptoms.

Fatigue and Weakness

Bordetella bronchiseptica infection can cause general fatigue and weakness, most infections making individuals feel tired and lacking energy.

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Diagnosing Bordetella Bronchiseptica


Diagnosing Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in humans involves a comprehensive evaluation of the symptoms, medical history, and whether evidence suggests potential exposure to infected animals. A healthcare professional will typically perform the following diagnostic steps:

Physical Examination

The healthcare provider will conduct a thorough physical examination, focusing on the respiratory system. They will assess the presence of any characteristic symptoms such respiratory illnesses ranged as cough, nasal congestion, or throat inflammation.

Medical History

The healthcare provider will inquire about your medical history, including any recent contact with animals, particularly those exhibiting respiratory symptoms. They may also ask about any underlying health conditions that could increase the risk or severity of the infection.

Laboratory Tests

To confirm the presence of Bordetella bronchiseptica, the healthcare provider may order specific laboratory tests. These may include:

  • Nasal or Throat Swab: A swab sample is taken from the back of the nose or throat using a sterile swab. This sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The lab will test for the presence of the bacterium through techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or culture.
  • Serological Tests: In some cases, blood samples may be taken to check for the presence of antibodies against Bordetella bronchiseptica. These tests can help determine if you have been exposed to the bacterium in the past.

Differential Diagnosis

The healthcare provider will consider other possible causes of upper respiratory tract infections and infections and rule out similar conditions, such as viral or respiratory tract infections or other bacterial infections. This is important to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect a Bordetella bronchiseptica infection or experience respiratory symptoms after close contact with wild animals before. They can perform the necessary evaluations and tests to confirm the diagnosis and provide appropriate guidance and treatment.

Treatment Options for Bordetella Bronchiseptica

The treatment for Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in humans primarily focuses on managing the symptoms and providing supportive care. While antibiotics are not always necessary or effective against this bacterium, they may be prescribed in severe cases or when complications arise. The following treatment options are commonly employed:

Symptom Management

Over-the-counter medications can be used to alleviate symptoms associated with respiratory disease or with Bordetella bronchiseptica infection. These may include cough suppressants to relieve persistent coughing and decongestants to reduce nasal congestion.

Rest and Hydration

It is important to get plenty of rest to allow the body to recover. Additionally, adequate hydration by consuming fluids like water, herbal tea, or warm soups helps to keep the respiratory system hydrated and alleviate throat discomfort.

Warm Saline Gargles

Gargling with warm saline water can provide relief for a sore throat. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle the mixture for a few seconds before spitting it out.

Humidifier or Steam Inhalation

Using a humidifier or inhaling steam can help soothe the top respiratory tract and passages and ease breathing. Warm, moist air can provide temporary relief from congestion and coughing. Be cautious with steam to avoid burns.

Antibiotics (if necessary)

In some cases, if the symptoms of b bronchiseptica are severe or complications arise, antibiotics may be prescribed. However, it’s important to note that antibiotics are not always effective against Bordetella b bronchiseptica, and their use should be determined by a healthcare professional.

It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and guidance on the most appropriate treatment options for your specific case. They can assess the severity of symptoms and recommend the best course of action.

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Preventive Measures Against Bordetella Bronchiseptica


To reduce the risk of Bordetella bronchiseptica infection, it is important to take preventive measures, especially for individuals who are frequently exposed to animals. Here are some key preventive measures:

Practicing Good Hand Hygiene

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after handling animals or coming into contact with their belongings. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoiding Close Contact with Infected Animals

If you are aware of an animal being infected with Bordetella bronchiseptica or exhibiting respiratory symptoms, avoid close contact. This includes avoiding direct contact with the animal, its saliva, nasal secretions, or respiratory droplets.

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

If you work in an environment with animals, ensure proper ventilation to reduce the concentration of airborne bacteria. Good air circulation helps minimize the risk of transmission.

Regularly Disinfecting Surfaces and Objects

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that come into contact with animals, such as cages, kennels, toys, food bowls, and grooming tools. Use appropriate disinfectants recommended for killing bacteria.


Follow recommended vaccination protocols for pets, as vaccines are available for some animals against Bordetella bronchiseptica. Consult with a veterinarian to ensure your pets are up to date with their vaccinations.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

If you work closely with animals in a professional capacity, consider using personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and goggles to minimize exposure to respiratory secretions.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of Bordetella bronchiseptica infection. However, it is important to note that no preventive measure is 100% foolproof. If you develop respiratory symptoms after close contact with animals, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance.

Complications and Risks

While Bordetella bronchiseptica infections in humans are generally mild and self-limiting, complications can occur, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems or underlying respiratory conditions. It is important to be aware of the potential complications and risks associated with this infection. Here are some possible complications:


In some cases, Bordetella bronchiseptica infection can progress to pneumonia, which is characterized by inflammation and infection of the lungs. Pneumonia may cause more severe respiratory symptoms, such as persistent cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and fever.


Bordetella bronchiseptica infection can lead to bronchitis, which is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis can cause symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest discomfort, and excessive mucus production.


Infection with Bordetella bronchiseptica can also extend to the sinuses, causing sinusitis. Additionally, symptoms of sinusitis may include facial pain, headache, nasal congestion, and thick nasal discharge.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica in Humans: Exacerbation of Existing Respiratory Conditions

Individuals with underlying respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may experience exacerbations of their symptoms due to Bordetella bronchiseptica infection. Furthermore, it can lead to increased coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and difficulty in breathing.

It is important to note that these complications are relatively a rare occurrence and most individuals with Bordetella bronchiseptica infections recover without complications. However, if you have a weakened immune system or a pre-existing respiratory condition, it is crucial to monitor your symptoms closely and seek medical attention if they worsen or persist.

If you experience severe respiratory symptoms, have difficulty breathing, or develop high fever, it is recommended to seek immediate medical care. Additionally, a healthcare professional can assess your condition, provide appropriate treatment, and manage any potential complications.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Bordetella Bronchiseptica Infection?

The recovery time from Bordetella bronchiseptica infection can vary from person to person and depends on several factors. In general, most cases of Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in humans are mild and self-limiting, similar to common respiratory infections. Additionally, with proper care and management of symptoms, individuals typically start to feel better within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, the duration of recovery may be influenced by the following factors:

Bordetella Bronchiseptica in Humans: Overall Health

The overall health and immune response of an individual can affect the recovery time. Additionally, people with a strong immune system and no underlying health conditions may recover more quickly.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica in Humans: Severity of Symptoms

The severity of symptoms can impact the recovery time. Additionally, mild cases with minimal symptoms may resolve faster than more severe cases with persistent coughing, significant congestion, or high fever.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica in Humans: Prompt Treatment

Timely and appropriate treatment can also contribute to a quicker recovery. Additionally, managing symptoms, staying hydrated, and following recommended care measures can help alleviate discomfort and aid the body’s natural healing process.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica in Humans: Individual Variations

Each person’s body reacts differently to infections. Moreover, factors such as age, overall fitness, and individual immune response can influence the duration of recovery.

If symptoms worsen or persist beyond a couple of weeks, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Furthermore, in some cases, complications or secondary infections may arise, requiring additional evaluation and treatment.

It’s important to note that while most individuals recover fully from Bordetella bronchiseptica infection, some individuals with weakened immune systems or underlying respiratory conditions may experience a longer recovery period or develop complications. Additionally, it’s crucial to follow the guidance of healthcare professionals and complete any prescribed treatment to support a smooth recovery.

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