Bordetella bronchiseptica is a small, gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium of the genus Bordetella. It can cause bronchitis although it rarely infects humans. It is closely related to pertussis which causes whooping cough and B. bronchiseptica can persist in the environment for extended periods.
Humans are not natural carriers of B. bronchiseptica, which normally infects the respiratory tracts of smaller mammals. It does not express pertussis toxin although it has the genes to do so which highlights the close evolutionary relationship between the two species.
It the veterinary world it can lead to a range of pathologies in different hosts. It is a serious disease of dogs, pigs, and rabbits and has been seen in cats, horses, and seals. Each animal will have a different reaction and set of symptoms.