Usefulness of pneumococcal antigen detection in pleural fluid samples by immunochromatographic assay for diagnosis of pneumococcal pneumonia


Corresponding author and reprint requests: J. Domínguez, Servei de Microbiologia, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Carretera del Canyet s/n, 08916 Badalona, Barcelona, Spain


This study investigated the utility of an immunochromatographic test (ICT) for the detection of Streptococcus pneumoniae antigens in pleural fluid. Antigen was detected in 15 of 19 (79%) patients with pneumococcal pneumonia. The ICT was always negative in patients with non-pneumococcal pneumonia, but was positive in three cases with a non-infectious aetiology. In patients with pneumonia for which no pathogen was identified, antigen was detected in one of 24 pleural fluids tested. The ICT can be a valuable tool for the management of pneumonia because it can detect pneumococcal antigen in pleural effusion samples.