What is the role of gram staining in the workup of pediatric pneumococcal infections?

Updated: Jan 14, 2019
  • Author: Meera Varman, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Gram stains of usually sterile body fluids (CSF, synovial fluid, pleural fluid) showing gram-positive diplococci strongly suggest the diagnosis of pneumococcal infection, although alpha-hemolytic streptococci and group B streptococci can look like S pneumoniae.

Results of CSF Gram stains in younger children with meningitis are positive 90-100% of the time, but the CSF Gram stain technique may be slightly less sensitive in older children.

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