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Test ID BORDG Bordetella pertussis Antibody, IgG, Serum

Useful For

Diagnosis of recent infection with Bordetella pertussis in patients with symptoms consistent with whooping cough for 2 or more weeks


This test should not be used in neonates, young infants or in children between the ages of 4 to 7 years as the routine childhood vaccine schedule may interfere with result interpretation.


This test should not be used as a test of cure, to monitor response to treatment, or to determine vaccine status.

Method Name

Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

Reporting Name

B. pertussis Ab, IgG, S

Specimen Type


Ordering Guidance

This test should be ordered in patients with 2 or more weeks of symptoms consistent with whooping cough. Nucleic acid amplification testing for Bordetella pertussis should be used in patients who have been symptomatic less than 2 weeks; order BPRP / Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis, Molecular Detection, PCR, Varies.

Specimen Required

Collection Container/Tube:

Preferred: Serum gel

Acceptable: Red top

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions: Centrifuge and aliquot serum into a plastic vial.

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.5 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 30 days
  Frozen  30 days

Clinical Information

Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, is highly contagious and remains endemic in the United States despite the high rate of vaccination. Acute B pertussis infections are typically diagnosed by culture or nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT). However, symptomatic adults and adolescents often seek medical attention later in the course of infection, at which time the sensitivity of these 2 methods to detect the infectious agent decreases. A serologic response to B pertussis is typically mounted 2 weeks following infection, and therefore, detection of IgG-class antibodies to pertussis toxin (PT), which is only produced by B pertussis, can be a useful adjunct for diagnosis at later stages of illness.


Prior to testing, providers should review whether the patient was recently vaccinated using the Tdap (Tetanus-Diphtheria-acellular Pertussis) or DTap vaccines. The acellular pertussis vaccine contains 1 to 5 B pertussis antigens, including filamentous hemagglutinin, pertactin, 2 fimbrial agglutinogens, and significant levels of PT. Therefore, recent vaccination for B pertussis, specifically within the last 2 to 6 months, may lead to a positive result by the anti-PT IgG assay, and knowledge of the patient's vaccination history is important for accurate result interpretation.

Reference Values

≥100 IU/mL (Positive)

40-<100 IU/mL (Borderline)

<40 IU/mL (Negative)

Reference values apply to all ages.


Negative (<40 IU/mL): No IgG antibodies to pertussis toxin (PT) detected. Results may be falsely negative in patients with less than 2 weeks of symptoms.


Borderline (40-<100 IU/mL): Recommend follow-up testing in 10 to 14 days if clinically indicated.


Positive (≥100 IU/mL): IgG antibodies to pertussis toxin (PT) detected. Results suggest recent infection with or recent vaccination against Bordetella pertussis.

Clinical Reference

1. Leber AL: Pertussis: relevant species and diagnostic update. Clin Lab Med. 2014 Jun;34(2):237-255

2. Guiso N, Berbers G, Fry NK, et al: What to do and what not to do in serological diagnosis of pertussis: recommendation from EU reference laboratories. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Mar;30(3):307-312

3. Andre P, Caro V, Njamkepo E, Wendelboe AM, Van Rie A, Guiso N: Comparison of serological and real-time PCR assays to diagnose Bordetella pertussis infection in 2007. J Clin Microbiol. 2008 May;46(5):1672-1677

Day(s) Performed


Report Available

Same day/1 to 7 days

Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
BORDG B. pertussis Ab, IgG, S 42330-1


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
BIGG B. pertussis IgG 29659-0
DEXBG B.pertussis Value 42330-1


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send Infectious Disease Serology Test Request (T916) with the specimen.