Improving the sensitivity of blood culture for Streptococcus pneumoniae

Samir Saha, Gary Darmstadt, Aliya Naheed, Shams Arifeen, Maksuda Islam, Kaniz Fatima, Robert Breiman, David Sack, Davidson Hamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Isolation of Streptococcus pneumoniae is jeopardized by low sensitivity of blood culture, autolysis and contamination with fast-growing organism(s). We performed an immunochromatographic (ICT) test for S. pneumoniae on chocolatized blood culture bottles and also sub-cultured contaminated bottles on a selective medium, thus identifying an additional eight and three cases, respectively, and improving the detection of pneumococcus by 23% (48% vs. 59%). Prescreening of culture bottles in a blinded fashion could rationalize the use of ICT with ~99% accuracy. These two approaches can aid microbiology laboratories in resource-poor countries to substantially improve rates of detection of S. pneumoniae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfmq070
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of tropical pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Autolysin
  • Blood culture
  • Immunochromatographic test
  • Pneumococcus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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