Diagnosis & Medical Management
A definitive diagnosis of infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae generally relies on isolation of the organism from blood or other normally sterile body sites. Tests are also available to detect capsular polysaccharide antigen in body fluids.
Resistance to penicillin and other antibiotics is common. In some areas of the United States, up to 15% of invasive pneumococcal isolates are resistant to penicillin.
Treatment will usually include a broad-spectrum cephalosporin, and often vancomycin, until results of antibiotic sensitivity testing are available.
For more information on medical management of pneumonia, please see the guidelines below.
Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP)
- IDSA and ATS Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Adults, 2007 [46 pages]
- PIDS and IDSA Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Infants and Children Older Than 3 Months of Age, 2011 [52 pages]
Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia (HCAP)
- CDC and HICPAC Guidelines for Preventing Health-Care-Associated Pneumonia, 2003 [179 pages]
- ATS and IDSA Guidelines for the Management of Adults with Hospital-acquired, Ventilator-associated, and Healthcare-associated Pneumonia, 2005 [36 pages]
- SHEA and IDSA Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals, 2008
Pink Book’s Chapter on Pneumococcal Disease
Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases textbook
- Page last reviewed: June 6, 2013
- Page last updated: June 6, 2013
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