Bordetella pertussis PCR: simultaneous targeting of signature sequences

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2002 Aug;43(4):269-75. doi: 10.1016/s0732-8893(02)00405-4.


The absence of analytical controls for polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic tests for Bordetella pertussis limits their clinical utility. In this study, multiplex PCR simultaneously targeted two specific Bordetella pertussis sequences, the chromosomal repeated insertion sequence IS481 (IS) and the pertussis toxin promoter region (PT). A multi-target hybridization-EIA (Hyb-EIA) method in a 96-well microtiter-plate format was used to detect amplicons. Forty-seven (15%) of the 318 nasopharygeal specimens tested positive for at least one DNA target of B. pertussis by PCR, including the 10 known positive samples by culture and/or direct fluorescent antibody (DFA). Forty-six of the 47 PCR positive samples were considered positive for B. pertussis using the consensus interpretation criteria. Simultaneous detection of multiple chromosomal regions may identify false-positive and -negative results due to analytical variations or potential sequence polymorphism, and uncover a wider range of pathogenic strains.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Base Sequence
  • Bordetella pertussis / classification*
  • Bordetella pertussis / genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Infant
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology
  • Pertussis Toxin*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Species Specificity
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / genetics*
  • Whooping Cough / diagnosis*
  • Whooping Cough / microbiology


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • Pertussis Toxin