Bordetella pertussis - Whooping Cough

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is an acute infectious disease caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium. In babies and young children, pertussis is especially dangerous and can result in potentially deadly complications such as pneumonia, apnea, and encephalopathy. The CDC recommends vaccination against whooping cough for young children, preteens, pregnant women, and unvaccinated adults.  The protective power of a pertussis vaccine fades over time, so being up-to-date with vaccination is important, particularly for families and caregivers of new babies. The early diagnosis and treatment of pertussis are extremely important to limit disease spread. Laboratory tests such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), culture, and serology can detect the presence of the B. pertussis bacterium. These tests are highly dependent on the time that has elapsed since initial infection, so the testing strategy should be developed in reference to the time of disease onset. The CDC-recommended laboratory tests for pertussis diagnosis are blood culture and PCR, but serology may be appropriate for late-stage pertussis.  

Tabs Content
Content Review: 
December 2019

Last Update: December 2019