We studied the survival of Bordetella pertussis in four suspending solutions (Casamino Acids broth, deionized water, phosphate-buffered saline, and serum inositol), subjected to three storage temperatures (4, -20, and -70 degrees C) and two freezing methods (direct freezing and fast-freezing in an ethanol-dry-ice bath). Recovery rates were higher for longer periods for suspensions stored at -70 degrees C than those stored at -20 or 4 degrees C. Serum inositol showed the highest recovery rates for all experimental conditions, followed by Casamino Acids, deionized water, and phosphate-buffered saline. Cell viability was significantly reduced in phosphate-buffered saline suspensions fast-frozen before storage. These results identify optimal conditions for storing B. pertussis cells and are applicable to the collection, transport, and storage of aspirated nasopharyngeal samples for use in the laboratory diagnosis of pertussis.
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