Detection of Bordetella pertussis in Infants Suspected to have Whooping Cough

Massoud Hajia1, Mohammad Rahbar*, 1, 2, Fatemeh Fallah3, Nooshafarin Safadel4
1 Department of Microbiology Iranian Reference Health Laboratory, Ministry of health and medical Education Tehran, Iran
2 Antimicrobial Resistance Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Pediatric Infectious Research Center of Shahid Beheshti Medical University, Mofid Children Hospital, Tehran, Iran
4 Quality Management Office, Iranian Reference Health Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Medical Education Tehran, Iran

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© Hajia et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Research Center and Health Reference Laboratory, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran; Tel: +982166728112-13; Fax: +982166728121; E-mail:



Even with high coverage of vaccination programs, Bordetella pertussis is still reported in various countries. It causes a high rate of mortality and morbidity in infants while it could be asymptomatic in adults. At the present study, we are going to evaluate the frequency of B. pertussis among received specimens.


This cross-sectional study was performed on 138 children under one year who were suspected to have whooping cough from October 2008 to March in 2011. Nasopharyngeal dacron and rayon swabs and sera were used for PCR and serology respectively.


The mean age of the subjects was 1.9± 0.9 months. PCR was positive in 12 cases; ELISA was in agreement with PCR results except in one case that showed the specific antibody at borderline limit.


The rate of reported positive results showed that pertussis not only is still present in the community, but the number of the asymptomatic cases who are able to transmit the disease may be considerable.

Keywords: Whooping cough, B. pertussis, PCR, ELISA..