Future Microbiol. 2015 Dec 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of phenotypic and molecular methods for identification of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Yahiaoui RY1,2, den Heijer CD1, Wolfs P1, Bruggeman CA1, Stobberingh EE1,3.

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The objective of this study is to compare various Streptococcus pneumoniae identification methods.


In total, 1371 putative S. pneumoniae isolates were tested with three phenotypic methods and a molecular-based method targeting a virulence factor (CpsA). We assessed the sensitivity and the specificity of each method and widely used S. pneumoniae identification algorithm.


None of the methods or the identification algorithm used separately was able to correctly identify all S. pneumoniae isolates. Furthermore, a high rate of optochin resistance was found.


We demonstrated the failure of the current S. pneumoniae identification methods and optochin susceptibility-based algorithm. In addition, the high rate of optochin resistance might justify the necessity of a close monitoring of optochin susceptibility.


PCR; Streptococcus pneumoniae; bile solubility; colony morphology; identification; optochin

PMID: 26673889 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]