Bacterial Etiology in Subacute Cough

Ji Yong Moon, Hyun Lee, Min Hye Kim, Woo Jung Song, Sang Min Lee, Sae Hoon Kim, Sang Heon Kim, Byung Jae Lee, Ho Joo Yoon, Sang Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although postinfectious etiology is the most common cause of subacute cough, there are insufficient data on the epidemiology of associated bacterial infections. We aimed to identify the etiology of bacterial detection in subjects with subacute cough. A multicenter prospective observational study of 142 patients with postinfectious subacute cough was performed between August 2016 and December 2017 in Korea. We obtained 2 nasal swabs from each patient and used a multiplex bacterial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit that simultaneously detects Bordetella pertussis, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Legionella pneumophilia, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. About 29% (n = 41) of patients with subacute cough were positive for bacterial PCR in nasal swabs. The most common bacteria detected by bacterial PCR was H. influenzae (n = 19, 13.4%), followed by S. pneumoniae (n = 18, 12.7%), B. pertussis (n = 7, 4.9%), M. pneumoniae (n = 3, 2.1%), L. pneumophilia (n = 2, 1.4%), and C. pneumoniae (n = 1, 0.7%). Nine patients had dual positivity for the PCR. In conclusion, bacterial PCR was positive in the nasal swabs of about 29% of subjects with subacute cough, including 5% of positive PCR results for B. pertussis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-681
Number of pages9
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Immunology Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 The Korean Academy of Asthma,


  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Cough
  • bacteria
  • polymerase chain reaction


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