What is Bordetella Pertussis?

Bordetella pertussis was a common childhood disease in the 20th century and a major cause of childhood mortality in the United States. The introduction of widespread inoculations vaccines drastically reduced the incidence of Bordetella pertussis. Unfortunately, since the 1980s there has been a significant increase in reported cases of pertussis. In 2012, almost 50,000 cases of pertussis were reported and the CDC believes that much of the disease goes unrecognized and unreported. In addition, while it was once thought that prior pertussis infection can provide life-long immunity studies suggest this is not the case and immunity is limited to between 4 and 20 years.

Disease Progression

Bordetella pertussis is popularly known as whooping cough which is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like “whoop.”  Although whooping cough associated mortalities are rare, it is still a dangerous and highly contagious disease, whose signs and symptoms can commonly take about 7 – 10 days to appear. Symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, red, watery eyes, fever and the telltale cough. Within 1 – 2 weeks signs and symptoms worsen with thick mucus accumulation in the airways that causes severe and uncontrollable coughing.  Violent coughing attacks may provoke vomiting, result in a red or blue face, cause extreme fatigue and end with a high-pitched “whoop” sound during the next breath of air. However, many people don’t develop the characteristic whoop sound and a persistent hacking cough may be the only sign that an adolescent or adult has whooping cough. Infants may not cough at all but may struggle to breathe, or temporarily stop breathing altogether.

How is that better than the standard legacy method?

Excelsior DX’s Bordetella screening by PCR is the most accurate method for diagnosing pertussis available today.  Furthermore, next day results are produced from a standard, non-invasive eswab without the necessity for blood draws or other invasive specimen retrieval methods. It is no longer necessary to wait one to two weeks for the processing of legacy culture tests, during which time critical intervention decisions need to be made. Next day results by Excelsior can significantly limit the contagions, reduce unnecessary defensive hospitalizations and guide the earliest and most effective therapeutic interventions to limit disease duration and improve patient outcomes.

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The Excelsior Guarantee

Excelsior Diagnostics is a specialty medical diagnostic lab that performs all testing exclusively by Polymerase Chain Reaction Molecular Analysis, the most accurate diagnostic medical testing available today.