Development of a rapid diagnostic test for pertussis: Direct detection of pertussis toxin in respiratory secretions

R. L. Friedman, S. Paulaitis, J. W. McMillan

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5 Scopus citations


Monoclonal antibodies (MAb) were produced against the specific Bordetella pertussis antigen pertussis toxin (PT). In preliminary studies, one MAb (IB12) was selected and used in an enzyme-linked dot blot immunoassay to evaluate the ability of the method to detect known amounts of PT in control experiments and to test its potential for direct detection of PT in nasopharyngeal secretion (NP) specimens from patients with confirmed cases of whooping cough. The dot blot was able to detect PT at levels as low as 10 ng per dot in either buffer or control NP specimens. The assay demonstrated specificity, reacting only with dot blots of whole B. pertussis and not Bordetella bronchiseptica, Bordetella parapertussis, or other bacterial strains. In preliminary studies, NP aspirate, swab, and wash specimens were compared. The specimen of choice was found to be the NP aspirate, for which 100% positive results were found in the assay. The initial studies suggest that the dot blot immunoassay in which a MAb is used for direct detection of PT in NP specimens may be useful as a rapid diagnostic test for pertussis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2466-2470
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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