Volume 16, Number 8—August 2010
Etymologia: Bordetella pertussis
Named for Belgian bacteriologist Jules Bordet, members of the genus Bordetella are small, gram-negative, aerobic coccobacilli that infect the respiratory epithelium in mammals. In 1906, Drs Bordet and Octave Gengou succeeded in isolating and cultivating the bacterium, later called Bordetella pertussis (from Latin per, intensive, and tussis, cough), which causes whooping cough, a deadly disease in young children. For this work and his pioneering immunologic studies, Dr Bordet was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1919.
Source: Bordet J, Gengou O. Le microbe de la coqueluche. Ann Inst Pasteur (Paris). 1906;20:731–41. http://nobelprize.org; Dorland’s illustrated medical dictionary, 31st edition. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.