The characterization of Bordetella pertussis strains isolated in the Central-Western region of Brazil suggests the selection of a specific genetic profile during 2012-2014 outbreaks.
OBJECTIVE Knowledge of Bordetella pertussis circulating in Latin America is limited. Therefore, the goal of this study was to use pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and serotyping to characterize B. pertussis strains isolated in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS This study, conducted between 2006 and 2008, analyzed 652 nasopharyngeal swabs from suspected pertussis cases and contacts, collected from 37 sentinel hospitals in São Paulo. Randomized samples of 91 (70%) strains of B. pertussis were subtyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and serotyping. RESULTS Ninety-seven percent of strains from São Paulo were serotyped as Fim3. Fourteen pulsed-field gel electrophoresis profiles were identified; the most prevalent (57%) is also the most prevalent in the USA. CONCLUSIONS These data, in conjunction with surveillance activities, may impact strategies regarding prevention and control of pertussis in the region, providing useful information for introduction of new vaccination strategies and reduction of risk of transmission to infants less than 6 months of age.