03:30pm Thursday 17 August 2017

Target adults working with children for whooping cough immunisations, say researchers

The study  found that 22 per cent of adults with acute persistent cough worked with children or in the health sector and that pertussis – commonly known as whooping cough – was three times more likely to be the cause than in other sub-groups.
 
A minimally invasive and easy-to-collect oral fluid swab enabled diagnostic testing to distinguish pertussis from other coughing illnesses, according to Dr Kathryn Philipson and Dr Felicity Goodyear-Smith of the University of Auckland who led the research involving 70 children and 156 adults under 50.
 
Pertussis is a highly contagious infection and frequent cause of acute persistent cough commonly presented by patients visiting their GP. In populations that have received booster immunisations, such as New Zealand where the research was carried out, it is currently difficult to distinguish pertussis from other causes of acute persistent cough.
 
The research suggests that the oral swab has the potential for greatly increased understanding of pertussis epidemiology and that the test should be widely available in primary care settings. Currently it is only available at the Respiratory and Systemic Infection Laboratory in England.
 
The researchers recommend that this should be taken into consideration when planning immunisation strategies to protect groups more likely to come into contact with children.
 
ENDS

 

Further Information

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Please cite this research as: Br J Gen Pract 2013; DOI:10.3399/bjgp13X670705.
 
Authors: Kathryn Philipson, Felicity Goodyear-Smith, Cameron C Grant, Angela Chong, Nikki Turner and Joanna Stewart

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 46,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

Please mention that this study was printed in the British Journal of General Practice in any news stories. 
All press-released BJGP stories are now freely available on the BJGP website at www.rcgp.org.uk/bjgp

The BJGP is the leading journal of family medicine in Europe and is distributed free of charge every month to over 46,000 GPs.
 
Although it is published by the RCGP, it has complete editorial independence. Opinions expressed in the BJGP should not be taken to represent the policy of the RCGP unless this is specifically stated.

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 46,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.


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