Bordetella pertussis Updates

Date: 01/25/2019

Beginning Friday January 25, 2019 the molecular assay used to detect Bordetella pertussis (BP PCR) at Northern Light Laboratory will be changed to an assay that detects and differentiates B. pertussis and B. parapertussis.  The test code for ordering will remain the same, but results will include the additional reportable and we will be billing for 2 CPT codes.  This change will enable us to test multiple times a day and will improve turnaround time for the BP PCR.

The new test was validated with 3 mL UTM collection tubes to simplify collection of respiratory samples (NP swabs).  We will continue to accept 1 mL UTM tubes for the BP PCR, but have begun the transition to providing only 3 mL tubes.

Like Bordetella pertussis, Bordetella parapertussis causes respiratory disease in humans.  In fact, B. parapertussis may be responsible for up to 20% of pertussis-like disease.  B. parapertussis tends to produce milder disease than B. pertussis. The pertussis vaccine has little efficacy against B. parapertussis; therefore all populations are susceptible to B. parapertussis, regardless of vaccination state.