Evaluation of phenotypic and molecular methods for identification of Streptococcus pneumoniae

Rachid Y. Yahiaoui*, Casper D. J. den Heijer, Petra Wolffs, Catharina Bruggeman, Ellen E. Stobberingh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim: The objective of this study is to compare various Streptococcus pneumoniae identification methods. Materials & 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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

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