Bordetella pertussis – PCR

Diagnostic Use

Pertussis is caused by the gram-negative coccobacillus Bordetella pertussis, a strict human pathogen with no known animal or environmental reservoir. Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory illness. In adolescents and adults, infection may result in a protracted cough and is occasionally associated with substantial morbidity. In children, and particularly infants, morbidity is more often substantial, and the disease may be fatal.

In the pre-vaccine era, the disease predominantly affected children <10 years of age and usually manifested as a prolonged cough illness with one or more of the classical symptoms: inspiratory whoop, paroxysmal cough, and post-tussive emesis. In adolescents and adults, symptoms and signs of pertussis are often nonspecific.

The organism is fastidious, surviving only a few hours in respiratory secretions and thus requiring special media for culture. When considering testing for Bordetella Pertussis, PCR is the test of choice during the acute stages of pertussis infection, up to 4 weeks after the onset of symptoms.

Department

Microbiology - Virology

Delphic Registration Code

BPCR

Synonyms

PCR - Bordetella pertussis
PCR - Whooping cough
Pertussis - PCR
Whooping cough - PCR

Turnaround Time

3 days

Test Code

2532