Bordetella pertussis isolation in general practice: 1977-79 whooping cough epidemic in West Glamorgan

J Hyg (Lond). 1983 Apr;90(2):149-58. doi: 10.1017/s0022172400028825.


Some of the factors influencing the isolation rate of Bordetella pertussis during a whooping cough epidemic in West Glamorgan, Wales, are reported. The organism was isolated from 39% of patients with clinical whooping cough, pernasal swabbing being much more successful than cough plates. Isolation rates were increased in the non-immunized, particularly in the first year of life. Erythromycin and co-trimoxazole significantly reduced the isolation rate of B. pertussis but this did not occur with penicillin. In this study 20% of patients were culture positive 6 weeks after the onset of their infection. It is suggested that the Department of Health and Social Security recommendation of a minimum period of three weeks exclusion of children from school is inadequate. During the epidemic, the proportion of strains of B. pertussis containing antigen 2 more than doubled.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bordetella pertussis / classification
  • Bordetella pertussis / isolation & purification*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Orthomyxoviridae / isolation & purification
  • Paramyxoviridae / isolation & purification
  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Serotyping
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccination
  • Wales
  • Whooping Cough / drug therapy
  • Whooping Cough / epidemiology
  • Whooping Cough / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Pertussis Vaccine