Bordetella pertussis is the bacterium responsible for the respiratory infection whooping cough or pertussis. The disease usually affects infants and infection may be severe. Despite an effective vaccine, immunity can wane, and susceptible older children or adults can pass on the infection to infants.
Traditionally, laboratory-confirmation of B. pertussis infection has been by isolation of B. pertussis by culture; however, PCR is a more rapid and sensitive method. The laboratory ceased to offer Bordetella pertussis culture for suspected whooping cough on 1st Jan 2016 and now recommends PCR. In adults with symptoms >2weeks, serological testing is also available.
Please contact Duty Microbiologist 0121 424 3244 for queries.
If sending a pernasal swab, please send the swab in the dry tube and not the charcoal gel containing tube.
For general aspects of taking respiratory samples we recommend that users follow either their local protocols or “The Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures”.
Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL)
Nasopharyngeal Aspirate (NPA)
Nasopharyngeal wash: vacuum-assisted (trap) aspirate method
Throat swabs for virology / molecular tests
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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database http://www.heftpathology.com/frontpage/test-database.html.
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.
For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235