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MPHL Home : Pertussis

 

 Pertussis

 


Laboratory Contact Number
410-767-6167

Despite high vaccine coverage it remains endemic worldwide and outbreaks regularly occur. Pertussis is transmitted by coughing or sneezing.  The bacterium attaches to cells of the upper respiratory system and releases toxins that damage the cilia and results in coughing. 

 
The CDC estimates there are possibly 600,000 cases/year of Bordetella pertussis among adults 19-64 years of age. Even though the disease may be milder in older persons, those who are infected may transmit the disease to other susceptible persons, including unimmunized or incom¬pletely immunized infants. Older persons are often found to have the first case in a household with multiple pertussis cases, and are often the source of infection for children.
 
PREVENTION:
Pertussis immunity appears to wane 5-10 years after the childhood vaccination series.
Acquired immunity following infection also does not appear to be permanent.  The Tdap vaccine was developed in 2005 for adults and adolescents and is recommended for all adolescents ≥ 11 years of age and all adults.
 
LABORATORY TESTING:
Specimens can only be submitted by DHMH epidemiologist to the laboratories using Test Request Form (DHMH 4677) with the following information:
1. Date of onset
2. Age of patient
3. Vaccine history
4. Test request (Marked as Pertussis IgG (PT)
5. Outbreak Investigation number
Only serum specimens collected in tubes with no additives (red tops or SSTs) can be used.
Patients should be over the age of 11, present with a cough ≥ 2 weeks, and not vaccinated against pertussis in the past 6 months.
 

Performance Verification of a Serological Assay for the Detection of IgG anti-Pertussis Toxin in a Public Health Laboratory