Polymerase chain reaction identification of Bordetella pertussis infections in vaccinees and family members in a pertussis vaccine efficacy trial in Germany

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The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was recently added to conventional culture and serology for the diagnosis of Bordetella pertussis infection in a large vaccine efficacy trial in Germany. In vaccinees or family members who had illnesses with cough, two nasopharyngeal swabs (calcium alginate for culture and Dacron for PCR) were taken and initial and follow-up clinical data were obtained. PCR was done using oligonucleotide primers PTp1 and PTp2 which amplify a 191-base pair DNA fragment of pertussis toxin operon. From December, 1993, to May, 1994, 555 pairs of swabs were processed; 28 grew B. pertussis and 9 grew B. parapertussis. Twenty

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