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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1991 Aug 1;66(2):169-75.

The melanophore aggregating response of isolated fish scales: a very rapid and sensitive diagnosis of whooping cough.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Linköping University, Regionsjukhuset, Sweden.

Abstract

Pertussis toxin (PT) has been found to block noradrenaline-induced pigment aggregation in fish melanophores, and, based on this, a rapid and highly sensitive assay for PT was developed. Some preliminary results have also indicated that it may be possible to detect PT-like activity in saliva samples from patients with clinically suspected pertussis. In the present study the diagnostic value of the fish melanophore method was evaluated in 70 patients suspected of having pertussis; culture, serology and physician diagnosis were used as reference methods. In 60 of the patients, pertussis was verified by at least one of the reference methods. The melanophore test showed PT-like activity in saliva samples from 58 of the patients. Three patients with reference-verified pertussis showed no PT-like activity in the test; among these, one patient had been immunized and had also been treated with erythromycin during 3 days immediately prior to visiting the hospital. The melanophore test has three major advantages: it allows detection of pertussis in the early and curable stage of the disease; it takes only 2 h to perform; and it requires no sophisticated equipment.

PMID:
1936946
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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