There are differences in the diagnostic needs of the clinical versus the public health setting. In the clinical setting, the goal is to optimize sensitivity (not to miss cases) while providing rapid results. This ensures rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment to prevent further transmission. In the public health setting, experts need a high degree of specificity (not to over-diagnose cases) to avoid unnecessary and ineffective public health interventions.
CDC Commentary – Pertussis Diagnosis: Avoid the Pitfalls of PCR
Learn how to optimize the use of PCR testing for pertussis by avoiding some of the more common pitfalls leading to inaccurate results.