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Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

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Item Value
Available Stat? No
Test code NOSC
Performed by? Microbiology (Bacteriology)
Sendout? no
Price range $$
In House Availability 7 days
Principle Culture plates for pertussis are incubated for a minimum of 48 hours and examined for colonies of B. pertussis. B. parapertussis will also be detected. Since Bordetella pertussis is not reactive on regular bacteriology tests, culture confirmation is determined by fluorescent antibody methods.
Interpretation Pertussis (whooping cough) is a reemerging disease in the United States, among individuals who have not been immunized. Clinical diagnosis may be elusive since the typical cough with whoop is frequently lacking. Instead symptoms are often nonspecific and virus-like, especially in older children and adults. In young children, the disease may be severe, with choking, apnea or cyanosis, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Treatment in the early stages of infection may reduce severity of illness and the further spread of the disease. Thus, an accurate early laboratory diagnosis remains a key in the control and prevention of this disease.

Erythromycin is the drug of choice for palliative therapy and prophylaxis of contacts.
Collection Instructions Culture should be taken before the institution of treatment. Mark the box for B. pertussis on the requisition.

The preferred specimen is a nasopharyngeal swab of the posterior nasopharynx collected with a small-tipped Dacron swab. Cotton swabs should be avoided since they contain fatty acids that are toxic to B. pertussis.

Specimen is plated directly to a charcoal blood agar culture plate (available in the Pediatric Clinic and in the walk-in refrigerator in the Microbiology Lab). Place swab in sterile screw-cap plastic tube with 2-3 drops of sterile non-bacteriostatic saline, and send it together with inoculated plate to the Microbiology Lab. Do not use transport media.
Sample type Swab
Synonyms Bordetella Pertussis, Culture;Pertussis Culture;Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Culture;
Stability Deliver to Microbiology Laboratory 2M33 as soon as possible.
References 1. Forbes, BA, et al. Bailey and Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology, 11th Ed. Mosby, St. Louis MO, 2002.

2. Murray, PR, et al. Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 9th Ed., ASM Press, Washington DC, 2007.

3. Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, 2nd ed, HD Isenberg, Ed. Amer. Soc. for Microbiol., Washington DC, 2004.
CPT coding 87070
Last Updated 7/7/2010 12:12:43 PM
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