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J Clin Microbiol. 1989 Nov;27(11):2466-70.

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

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724.


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 assay 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. These 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.

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