Serological Evaluation of Bordetella pertussis Infection In Adults With Prolonged Cough

Sonmez C., Coplu N., Gozalan A., Yilmaz U., Bilekli S., DEMİRCİ N. Y., ...More

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.50, no.3, pp.361-370, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.27692
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.361-370
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease that is transmitted from infected to susceptible individuals by respiratory route. Bordetella pertussis infection may occur at any age as neither vaccine nor natural infection induced immunity lasts life-long. This study was planned to demonstrate the serological evidence of infection among adults, to raise awareness among clinicians and to provide data for the development of strategies to protect vulnerable infants. A total of 538 patients (345 female, 193 male) ages between 18-87 years who had a complain of prolonged cough for more than two weeks were included in the study. Antipertussis toxin (PT) IgG and anti-filamentous hemagglutinin (FH) IgG levels from single serum samples were measured by an in-house ELISA test which was standardized and shown to be efficient previously. Anti-PT IgG antibody levels of >= 100 EU/ml were considered as acute/recent infection with B. pertussis. In our study, 9.7% (52/538) of the patients had high levels of anti-PT IgG (>= 100 EU/ml) and among those patients 43 (43/52; 82.7%) also had high (>= 100 EU/ml) anti-FHA IgG levels. There were no statistically significant differences in terms of age, gender, education level, DPT (diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus) vaccination history, smoking history or average daily cigarette consumption (p> 0.05) between the cases with high antibody levels (n=52). When the symptoms and the presence of cases with high antibody levels were evaluated, it was detected that no one parameter was significantly different from others, except that 24.1% of the cases with inspiratory whooping had high anti-PT levels. There was also no statistically significant difference between high anti-PT levels >= 100 EU/ml and the patients with risk factors [smoking (21/200; 10.5%), presence of disease that cause chronic cough and/or drug usage (19/171; % 11.1), and whole factors which cause chronic cough (32/306; % 10.5)] and without risk factors (p=0.581; p=0.357; p=0.249, respectively). The distribution of anti-PT IgG geometric mean titer (GMT) according to the age groups, was as follows; 32.41 in 18-30 years; 36.28 in 31-50 years; 36.82 in 51-70 years and 31.15 in >= 71 years. Our results indicated that B. pertussis infections are also present among adult population with a frequency not to be underestimated (9.7%) and the results also emphasized that since typical whooping cough symptoms may not be seen in adults, pertussis infection should be considered as a differential diagnosis in adults with prolonged cough, even if there are some other underlying factors of cough. The data obtained from this study was also considered to be helpful in the development of adult vaccination policies for the protection of infants who have not completed the vaccination schedule yet.