2011 Volume 50 Issue 8 Pages 879-885
Objective Analysis of an outbreak of Bordetella pertussis infection in a university laboratory. To prevent and control the outbreak, we conducted a survey of the laboratory staff and their family members, and we investigated the clinical features of adult pertussis.
Patients and Methods During the outbreak, four out of the 10 laboratory staff and five out of 16 family members had a primary complaint of cough. Seven of nine patients were diagnosed as definitive B. pertussis infection using serology and PCR.
Results Clinical findings and laboratory data in adult patients with B. pertussis infection demonstrated non-specific cough and normal WBC and lymphocyte count. The patients who received clarithromycin prior to 14 days after clinical onset demonstrated a shorter duration of cough symptoms than patients who received clarithromycin at 14 days or more after clinical onset (duration of cough after administration of clarithromycin: 17.8 ± 6.48 days versus 35.3 ± 5.38 days; duration of total cough after clinical onset: 24.8 ± 6.65 days versus 56.8 ± 6.50 days).
Conclusion The clinical findings of adult pertussis are different from pertussis in children. The efficacy of macrolide therapy clearly differed between the catarrhal phase and paroxysmal phase. Physicians should consider B. pertussis in the differential diagnosis of an outbreak of non-specific respiratory infection even in adult populations.