Determination of specific IgM antibodies against Bordetella is used for the laboratory diagnosis of acute infection with Bordetella pertussis, the whooping cough causative agent.
Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of pertussis (whooping cough), a disease that affects only humans. The genus Bordetella is composed of small, Gram-negative coccobacteria. The microbes are transmitted by droplets. Sources of infection are people who are sick and cough during the catarrhal phase. Bacteria can adhere to the cells of the bronchial ciliated epithelium. Whooping cough develops after a 1-3 week incubation period in three phases:
- Catarrhal phase lasts 1-2 weeks, with mild cold symptoms.
- Paroxysmal phase lasts 2-3 weeks, with characteristic paroxysmal cough.
- Discharge phase is the recovery phase, which can take several weeks.
After the clinical manifestation of pertussis, acquired natural immunity is acquired which is long-lasting but not permanent. In the case of reinfection, the disease is very mild. In most countries, active vaccination is recommended, which results in protection for three to twelve years. Immunization is usually combined with vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.