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Rapid diagnosis of pneumococcal pneumonia
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most frequently encountered bacterial agent of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Because of the significant morbidity and mortality associated with pneumococcal pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, it is important to have diagnostic test methods available that can provide a rapid diagnosis. In instances where empirical antibiotics are provided for CAP without culture confirmation of Streptococcus pneumoniae, antigen testing may be useful.
A positive result is indicative of pneumococcal pneumonia.
A negative result is a presumptive negative for pneumococcal pneumonia, suggesting no current or recent pneumococcal infection. Infection due to Streptococcus pneumoniae cannot be ruled out since the antigen present in the specimen may be below the detection limit of the test.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is best diagnosed by sputum culture.
A negative result does not exclude Streptococcus pneumoniae infection.
A diagnosis of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection must take into consideration all test results, culture results, and the clinical presentation of the patient.
Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine may cause false-positive results, especially in patients who have received the vaccine within 5 days of having the test performed.
This assay has not been validated for use with body fluids other than urine or cerebrospinal fluid.
The performance of this assay in patients who have received antibiotics for >24 hours has not been established.
The accuracy of this assay has not been proven in small children.
1. Plouffe JF, Moore SK, Davis R, Facklam RR: Serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae blood culture isolates from adults in Franklin County, Ohio. J Clin Microbiol 1994;32:1606-1607
2. Johnston RB Jr: Pathogenesis of pneumonococcal pneumonia. Rev Infect Dis 1991;13:509-517