[The re-emergence of pertussis in Tunisia]

Med Mal Infect. 2011 Feb;41(2):97-101. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2010.11.008. Epub 2011 Jan 6.
[Article in French]


Objective: The authors had for aim to analyze pertussis epidemiology in Tunisia by studying nasopharyngeal specimens of infants hospitalized in Tunis.

Methods: Between march 2007 and march 2008, clinical nasopharyngeal samples were collected from infants with a suspected diagnosis of whooping cough, pertussoid cough, or pertussis-like syndrome, admitted at the Tunis children's hospital. The laboratory diagnostic criteria were culture isolation of Bordetella species on Bordet-Gengou medium and real-time PCR.

Results: Fifty-nine percent of the 74 investigated children with suspected pertussis were less than two months of age. The diagnosis of pertussis was proved positive by real-time PCR for 41%. Culture was negative in all cases.

Conclusions: Whooping cough is still prevalent in Tunisia despite an important vaccination coverage. Real-time PCR is an invaluable tool for the rapid diagnosis of pertussis, however culture must also be associated.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Bordetella pertussis / genetics
  • Bordetella pertussis / growth & development
  • Bordetella pertussis / isolation & purification
  • Computer Systems
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nasopharynx / microbiology
  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tunisia / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data
  • Whooping Cough / drug therapy
  • Whooping Cough / epidemiology*
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Pertussis Vaccine