Oct 2, 2017




Clinical Hub,Tools & Resources,UWHC Lab Test Directory,Microbiology

Bordetella species (including B. pertussis), PCR

Bordetella species (including B. pertussis), PCR (BORDPCR) Microbiology Lab Test

Name: Bordetella species (including B. pertussis), PCR

Test Name: Bordetella species (including B. pertussis), PCR

Health Link Test Code: BORDPCR


CPT Code(s): 87798x3

Methodology: PCR

Clinical Information:

Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of pertussis or whooping cough.  Diagnosis of pertussis is based on having a high clinical suspicion for the infection,along with confirmation by laboratory testing.  Bordetella species (including B. pertussis), PCR is a multiplexed qualitative test for the simultaneous detection of Bordetella parapertussis/bronchiseptica, Bordetella holmesii, and Bordetella pertussis.  The detection and identification of these agents from individuals exhibiting signs and symptoms aids in the diagnosis if used in conjunction with other clinical and epidemiological information.

Days Performed: Daily.

In-Lab Turnaround Time: 1 - 2 days.

Stat In-Lab Turnaround Time: Not available stat.

Specimen: Nasopharyngeal Minitip swab (flocked swab), BAL

Collection Container: UTM(Universal Transport Medium)

Collection Instructions:

Obtain UTM from UWHC Central Services, item #4010148

Collection Volume: 2 mL

Pediatric Collection Volume: 0.5 mL

Stability Ambient:

2 hours

Stability Refridgerated:

48 hours

Stability Frozen:

Not acceptable

Specimen Transport:

Transport specimen to laboratory on coolant pack.

Unacceptable Criteria:

Swabs other than nasopharyngeal flocked swabs are not acceptable.


Refrigerated M4 and room temperature M4RT are not acceptable.



Test Limitations:

Proper collection and transport of specimen is of critical importance for proper detection.


Due to genetic similarity, if Bordetella pertussis is detected, the presence of Bordetella parapertussis/bronchiseptica cannot be determined.


This test has optimal sensitivity during the first 3 weeks of cough.  False negative results may be more likely after this time period. In addition, PCR testing after 5 days of antibiotic use is generally not recommended.


A negative result does not exclude the possibility of infection.  Negative results should not be used as the sole basis for diagnosis, treatment, or other patient management decisions.

Additional Information:

Refer to Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection for Respiratory PCR Testing for proper collection instructions.

Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection for Respiratory PCR Testing


Positive results for Bordetella pertussis are called to the ordering source.  Positive results for Bordetella parapertussis/bronchiseptica and Bordetella holmesii on inpatients, including those from ED and subsequently admitted, will be called to ordering source.


For BAL Specimens:  This test was performed using a modification of an FDA approved method.  The performance characteristics of this test were determined by the UWHC clinical laboratories and meet the standards for clinical testing.