Adults working with children should be immunised against whooping cough, researchers have suggested.
Published in the British Journal of General Practice, the study found that 22% of adults with an acute persistent cough either working with children or in the healthcare sector.
Using an oral fluid swab, researchers from the University of Auckland aimed to distinguish pertussis (whooping cough) from other coughing illnesses.
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.