Diagnosis and Medical Management
Tests are available to help diagnose invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia. Guidelines for treatment vary for community-acquired and healthcare-associated pneumonia.
Definitively diagnosing Streptococcus pneumoniae infection generally relies on isolating the organism from blood or other normally sterile body sites. Tests are also available to detect capsular polysaccharide antigen in body fluids.
Urinary antigen test
A commercially available urinary antigen test can detect the C-polysaccharide antigen of Streptococcus pneumoniae as a cause of community-acquired pneumonia. The test
- Is rapid and simple to use
- Has a reasonable specificity in adults
- Can detect pneumococcal pneumonia after initiation of antibiotic therapy
Pneumococcal bacteria are resistant to one or more antibiotics in more than 30% of cases. See CDC’s pneumococcal antibiotic resistance data.
For more information on medical management of pneumonia, please see the guidelines below.
- IDSA and ATS Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Adults with Community-acquired Pneumonia, 2019
- 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]
- CDC and HICPAC Guidelines for Preventing Health-Care-Associated Pneumonia, 2003 [179 pages]
- IDSA and ATS Guidelines for the Management of Adults with Hospital-acquired and Ventilator-associated Pneumonia, 2016 [51 pages]
- SHEA and IDSA Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Update