Keywords: Whooping cough

Key Information

Appropriate Tests


For confirmation of acute, typical infection: Nasopharyngeal swab/aspirate - Bordetella pertussis detection by NAA (highest pick up rate in the first 2 weeks of symptoms).

Bordetella pertussis Ab (IgA) on serum may be performed if symptoms have been present for > 2 weeks, nasopharyngeal aspirate may also be performed, if available for pertussis culture (inform the laboratory as special media is required to detect this organism.

For PCR detection of B. pertussis, a Throat swab may be acceptable, especially from an adult. Full blood count, White cell count differential (lymphocytosis common, but not required for diagnosis), Blood film.


See also Pathology Decision Support Tool: Pertussis

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