In many clinical microbiology laboratories, nucleic acid amplification tests such as PCR have become the routine methods for the diagnosis of pertussis. While PCR has greatly increased the ability of laboratories to detect Bordetella pertussis infections, it has also been associated with false-positive results that can, given the tendency of B. pertussis to cause outbreaks, result in unnecessary and costly control measures. The species specificity of Bordetella gene targets and their number of copies per genome greatly impact the performance characteristics of nucleic acid amplification tests for B. pertussis. It is crucial that laboratorians recognize these characteristics, to limit false-positive test results and prevent pseudo-outbreaks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)