Streptococcus pneumoniae real-time PCR


S. pneumoniae can prove difficult to culture in the laboratory due to its tendency to under go autolysis and susceptibility to a range of antibiotics. This is a particular a problem when attempting to diagnose S. pneumoniae infection in patients who have received empirical antibiotic therapy. Our laboratory has shown that diagnosis of S. pneumoniae infection can be improved by utilising molecular methods that detect bacterial genetic material in addition to culture. This real-time PCR assay targets the LytA gene that codes for Autolysin and is considered to be S. pneumoniae specific. The majority of S. pneumoniae strains are sensitive to penicillin, however resistance can occur. Sequence polymorphisms in the S. pneumoniae penicillin binding protein (pbp)- 2b confer penicillin resistance. PCR of a fragment of the S. pneumoniae pbp-2b gene can distinguish between susceptible and non-susceptible strains when performed on patient samples that are LytA PCR positive. The assay includes an internal control PCR.

Also known as

S. pneumo PCR, Strep. pneumo PCR, Pneumococcal PCR

Request a test

To request this test please send sample with a request providing patient ID (three identifiers), specimen information, assay required, relevant clinical details and sender information. Before sending sample please read details on requesting and labelling by clicking on the link. Please also refer to any additional information provided for this test.

Additional information

This assay can be performed as part of a multiplex with either N. meningitidis, S. agalactiae or K. kingae. Susceptibility to penicillin can be determined by amplification of a wild -type penicillin binding protein 2B (Pbp-2b) gene.

Sending address

Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control Level 4, Camelia Botnar Laboratories Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Great Ormond Street London WC1N 3JH DX number: DX6640203 DX Exchange: Bloomsbury 91WC

Laboratory service

Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control

Sample requirements

Any sample from a normally sterile site. Respiratory samples. Minimum volume 200 microlitres

Reference range

Not applicable

Turnaround time

24 hours

Disease / group

Bacterial infection


Upon request

Call in advance?

Not required

Microbiology, Virology and Infection Control

Our laboratory performs a wide range of routine and specialist investigations in Bacteriology, Virology and PCR.

© 2011 Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust