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ID:1020 Bordetella pertussis PCR
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DescriptionPertussis (whooping cough) is a respiratory infection caused by Bordetella pertussis. These bacteria are highly contagious and are passed from person to person through respiratory droplets and close contact. B. pertussis typically causes a prolonged infection. The incubation period is usually 7-10 days. Initially, the disease presents as a mild respiratory infection (1-2 weeks). The subsequent ’paroxysmal’ stage is characterised by severe bouts of coughing followed by an inspiratory "whooping" sound. The cough ultimately subsides after 1-2 months. Neither the vaccine nor pertussis infection confers lifetime immunity, so periodic outbreaks of pertussis are still observed in unvaccinated infants, adolescents, and adults.
Indication Suspicion of pertussis infection is increased in patients who have the classic "whoop", and also close contacts of a confirmed pertussis case who present with cold symptoms.
Additional InfoInitial symptoms may resemble those of a cold or other respiratory illness such as bronchitis, influenza, and, in children, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). During the paroxysmal stage, many adults and vaccinated patients will present with only persistent coughing. PCR should be used to test specimens taken 0-3 weeks following cough onset.
Concurrent Testsna
Dietary Requirementsna

SamplePernasal Swab / NPA
Tube Picture
Collection ConditionsTo obtain a pernasal sample: Using a flexible, fine 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. Rotate the swab a few times then remove. Replace swab back in empty collection tube. Please note: Rigid-shafted swabs will be rejected by the laboratory.
Min. Vol 0.5 ml

Ref. Range (Male)
Ref. Range (Female)
Ref. Range (Paed)
Ref. Range Notes
Units - Not Defined -
IP Acute TAT3 days
IP Routine TAT3 days
GP Acute TAT3 days
GP Routine TAT3 days
Turnround CommentNA

Originally edited by : L Macfarlane-Smith. Review due on 30/11/2018 13:28:28. Published By K Roberts on 30/11/2017 13:28:28.