Bordetella pertussis toxin (PT) Antibody (IgG), Immunoassay
Fasting Required: No

Specimen: Blood

Lab: Quest Diagnostics

Results: 3-5 business days
Note: Result turnaround times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

Description: Bordetella pertussis toxin (PT) Antibody (IgG), Immunoassay - Antibody levels above the reference range are highly suggestive of recent infection or vaccination. This assay cannot be used to assess protective immunity to pertussis because the specific antibodies and antibody levels that correlate with protection have not been well defined. The primary intent of the assay is to aid in the diagnosis
of infection following natural exposure to Bordetella pertussis. The indicated PT IgG reference ranges reflect the 90th percentile of antibody levels in sera from healthy children and blood donors; thus, levels above the reference range suggest recent infection or vaccination within the last few months.

The Bordetella pertussis blood test is primarily used to test for Bordetella pertussis bacterium, an infection that causes whooping cough. The early symptoms of whooping cough are very similar to those of many other colds. One may experience a runny nose, light coughing, sneezing, or a low-grade fever. These symptoms persist for about two weeks, and then the symptoms start to worsen and an affected individual will experience frequent episodes of intense coughing that is often followed by a whooping sound as the individual sucks in air. Sometimes the coughing causes the individual to vomit. Also, not all patients make the whooping sound after they cough, and very young children and infants are more likely to make a choking sound. Doctors will usually order the blood test during this stage of the infection.

Results from the blood test for Bordetella pertussis indicate the level of pertussis antibodies and white blood cells in the bloodstream. High levels of these antibodies in the blood suggest that the individual has a current pertussis infection. Low levels of the antibody, however, do not completely rule out pertussis. If positive IgG antibody to B. pertussis detected, this may indicate a current or recent exposure/immunization to B. pertussis. If one does have a verified pertussis infection, the doctor or the lab will report the infection to the health department in your state. Doctors are required to make these reports so that the health department is aware of where outbreaks are occurring. The health department works diligently to contain current outbreaks and prevent future outbreaks. Bordetella pertussis if highly infectious, and individuals usually carry the infection for several weeks before it is recognized as pertussis.