Ordering Recommendation

CDC-recommended test for the diagnosis of pertussis. Consider concurrent testing with Bordetella pertussis/parapertussis by PCR (0065080).

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Nasal aspirate or nasopharyngeal swab.

Specimen Preparation

Aspirate: Transfer to a sterile container. (Min: 0.5 mL).  Nasopharyngeal swab: Place swab in Regan-Lowe transport media and incubate for 24-48 hours at 35 (Degree)C (ARUP supply# 24962). Available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect(TM) or contact ARUP Client Services at 800-522-2787. Also acceptable: Swab in Jones Kendrick media or Amies with charcoal media, or swabs in described media sent directly without incubation.

Storage/Transport Temperature

Room temperature or refrigerated.

Unacceptable Conditions

Sputum, Eswabs, or medias other than listed above.


Specimen source preferred.


Incubated Regan-Lowe: Ambient: 4 days; Refrigerated: 4 days; Frozen: Unacceptable
Unincubated Regan-Lowe, Amie with charcoal swab, Aspirate: Ambient: 48 hours; Refrigerated: 48 hours; Frozen: Unacceptable






1-8 days
Negative culture reported at 8 days.  Positive culture reported as soon as detected.

Reference Interval

Culture negative for Bordetella pertussis.

Interpretive Data

Compliance Category



Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis detection by PCR also available (0065080).

Hotline History


CPT Codes

87081; Identification CPT codes may vary based on method


Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
0060117 Culture, Bordetella pertussis 549-6
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


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Bordetella pertussis Culture