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ID:590 Bordetella pertussis culture
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DescriptionFollowing the introduction of the pertussis vaccination in childhood pertussis has become rare. However vaccine failures and waning immunity contribute to the occasional detection of cases. The disease is characterised by a mild respiratory infection following a 7-10 days incubation period. The cough changes character after 1-2 weeks and becomes more paroxysmal followed by an inspiratory "whooping" sound. The cough ultimately subsides after 1-2 months. The best culture method uses a pernasal swab which should ideally be plated on specialised pertussis agar medium as soon as possible. Attempting culture from patients who have been started on erythromycin or other macrolides is not recommended as the culture yield is reduced. In these instances, blood for Bordatella serology should be taken. In selected patients PCR detection can be discussed with the laboratory.
Additional Info“Please note that requests for B pertussis culture from rigid-shafted swabs will be rejected by the laboratory, as it is not possible to obtain a pernasal sample using such swabs. Requests from sites other than “pernasal” or “nasal” will also be rejected. To obtain a pernasal sample: using the special flexible wire-shafted swab, gently insert swab into one nostril straight back (not upwards) until it reaches the posterior wall. The distance from the nose to the ear gives an estimate of how far back the swab should be inserted. Do not force the swab. If an obstruction is encountered, try the other one. Rotate the swab a few times, loosening the cells in the mucus cavity and then remove.”
Concurrent Testsna
Dietary Requirementsna


Ref. Range (Male)
Ref. Range (Female)
Ref. Range (Paed)
Ref. Range Notes
Units - Not Defined -

IP Acute TAT9 days
IP Routine TAT9 days
GP Acute TAT9 days
GP Routine TAT9 days
Turnround CommentResults may be available considerably earlier than stated turnaround time.
Originally edited by : Dr M Denton. Last edited on 07/09/2019 09:18:24. Published By K Roberts on 07/09/2018 09:18:24.