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Serotype determination of Streptococcus pneumoniae

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Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to Laboratory no. 594 (ISO/IEC 17025)

Requisition Forms

Reference Details


Serotype determination of Streptococcus pneumonia.

Test Category:
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Bacteraemia
  • Pneumococcal meningitis

Pure culture, presumptively identified as S. pneumoniae, isolated from a normally sterile site (excluding the middle ear). Isolate provided on culture medium.

Specimens may be subject to rejection if they are not the appropriate sample type, have insufficient volume, or are not accompanied by relevant patient information.

Collection Method:

Isolate provided on culture medium.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Send as growth on culture medium or on a swab in transport medium.  Chocolate or charcoal media are recommended.  Cultures can be also shipped frozen on dry ice. 

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.


Patient Criteria:

Invasive disease due to Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Isolate Submission Requisition for Streptococcus form including contact and lab name, address and telephone number.  Patient age or date of birth, sex, culture reference number, clinical source, date collected, and test requested. The above information may also be sent in an excel file to, as well as a paper copy with the shipment.



Non-invasive isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae that are related to outbreak investigations may be submitted. Duplicate samples should not be submitted without prior consent as they may not be processed. Isolates collected from the same patient within 3 weeks of each are considered duplicate.



Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Serotyping using whole genome sequencing (primary) (8,9)

Serotyping using the Quellung reaction (secondary) (1-7)

Turnaround Time:

30 calendar days. Outbreak associated or urgent isolates will be granted priority status and completed as soon as possible. **Turnaround times may not be guaranteed when isolates are submitted in large batches.

Phone #: (204) 789-6063; STI: (204) 784-5995
Fax: (204) 789-2140
  1. Austrian, R., Boettger, M. Dole, L. Fairly, and M. Fried. 1985. Streptococcus pneumoniae type 16A, a hitherto undescribed pneumococcal type. J. Clin. Microbiol. 22:127-128.
  2. Henrichsen, J. 1995. Six newly recognized types of Streptococcus pneumoniae. J. Clin. Microbiol. 33:2759-2762.
  3. Lund, E. Henrichsen J. Laboratory diagnosis, serology and epidemiology of Streptococcus pneumoniae. In: Bergan T. Norris JR, eds. Methods in Microbiology. London: Academic Press, 1978:241-262.
  4. Oftadeh,S., Satzke,C.,Gilbert,G. 2010. Identification of newly described Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 6D using Quellung reaction and PCR. J. Clin. Microiol. 48:3378-3379.
  5. World Health Organization. 2003. Manual for the laboratory identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacterial pathogens of public health concern in the developing world.  Chapter 5.  Streptococcus pneumoniae Confirmatory Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing. p45-62. Available at: ttp://
  6. World Health Organization. 2003. Manual for the laboratory identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacterial pathogens of public health concern in the developing world.  Appendix 6.  Serotyping and Quellung Typing of Streptococcus pneumoniae. p 255-258.  Available at:
  7. Lo SW, Gladstone RA, van Tonder AJ, et al. Global Distribution of Invasive Serotype 35D Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates following Introduction of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine. J Clin Microbiol. 2018;56(7):e00228-18. Published 2018 Jun 25. doi:10.1128/JCM.00228-18.
  8. Epping L, van Tonder AJ, Gladstone RA, Bentley SD, Page AJ, Keane JA. SeroBA: Rapid high-throughput serotyping of Streptococcus pneumoniae from whole genome sequence data. Microb Genom. 2018;4(7):e000186.
  9. Kapatai G, Sheppard CL, Al-Shahib A, Litt DJ, Underwood AP, Harrison TG, Fry NK. Whole genome sequencing of Streptococcus pneumoniae: development, evaluation and verification of targets for serogroup and serotype prediction using an automated pipeline. PeerJ. 2016;4:e2477.
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