A Virginia collaborative effort to analyze genomes of recent whooping cough bacteria

Faculty and students at UVA and JMU work together to analyze genetic sequences of bacteria isolated from Virginia residents who have contracted whooping cough over the last 15 years.

Louise Temple
Professor of Integrated Science & Technology

Stephen Turner
Assistant Professor of Public Health
Director of the School of Medicine’s Bioinformatics Core

Joshua Eby
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Project Summary

Students were trained in bioinformatics and development of new tools to manipulate the unusual genomic structure of the causative agent of whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis. B. pertussis exhibits remarkable genome plasticity, requiring the novel techniques for analysis that will result from this work. Because genetic adaptation in B. pertussis has contributed to the reemergence of whooping cough, the tools built during this process will address an issue important to the health of Virginians.

Benefits To The Commonwealth

Demonstrated Virginia’s impact on major global health issues

Contributed to health and medical solutions

Students trained in bioinformatics and development of new tools

The tools built addressed an issue important to the health of Virginians

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Student Resarchers

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Publications and Presentations