Pertussis is a respiratory illness also known as Whooping cough, which is a highly contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. This small gram negative coccobaccilus is non motile, aerobic and fastidious. Its incubation period is generally between 7-10 days ranging between 4-21 days and may also exceed to 42 days. It causes an uncontrollable violent coughing. The coughing makes hard the patient to take breath. A deep “whooping” sound is often heard when the patient tries to breath. It is also known as 100 day cough because of its time period.
It is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, tiny droplets containing the bacteria through the air and the disease is easily…show more content… The time taken by bacteria to get in the body and to infect is normally 7-10 days but in some cases may take 3 weeks. The infection is at its peak in the early stage. If no proper course of antibiotics of 5 days is done, the person may suffer seriously and infection prolongs for 3 weeks after the cough.
B. pertussis attaches to cilia of respiratory epithelial cells. It can be diagnosed by:
Culture: it is the standard method which is 100% specified but not 100% sensitive approx. equal to 12-60%. Specimen is taken from the nasopharangeal aspirate or nasopharangeal swab. Swabs are made up of Darcon instead of cotton. Special media and growth requirements are provided. As the growth is slow(4-5 days) therefore cultured is observed after 7-12 days.
PCR: PCR is done as it is fast and is of greater sensitivity but is less specific.
Serology: Pair and single sera are used for antibody diagnosis. It is sensitive upto 36-76% and specificity of 99%.