How is pneumococcal infection diagnosed?

Updated: Aug 27, 2018
  • Author: Claudia Antonieta Nieves Prado, MD; Chief Editor: John L Brusch, MD, FACP  more...
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Answer

If a pneumococcal infection is suspected or considered, Gram stain and culture of appropriate specimens should be obtained, when possible. Potential specimens may include 1 or more of the following:

  • Blood
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Sputum
  • Pleural fluid or lung aspirate
  • Joint fluid
  • Bone
  • Other abscess or tissue specimens

All S pneumoniae isolates, regardless of the isolation site, should be tested for susceptibility to penicillin and cefotaxime or ceftriaxone. Susceptibilities based on the type of specimen (CSF versus other) were defined by the Clinical and Laboratory Institute (CLSI) in 2008. [1, 2]


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