Streptococcus pneumoniae – Serotyping

Consistent with O. Reg. 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, laboratory testing information on this page is only available in English because it is scientific or technical in nature and is for use only by qualified health care providers and not by members of the public.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Streptococcus pneumonia – Serotyping

Pure viable subculture of organism on appropriate media or a swab of the pure subculture in Amies transport medium of the isolate for identification/typing.1

Submission and Collection Notes


Streptococcus pneumoniae serotyping is performed on isolates from sterile sites only.


If a swab or broth is received the turnaround time will be delayed by at least 24 hours.


Submit subculture of an organism on an appropriate medium that supports the growth (e.g. Blood Agar). Swab of pure culture in bacterial transport medium is an acceptable alternative.


Primary cultures are not acceptable; and must be processed by the originating lab. The submitter will be contacted by telephone prior to rejection of the primary sample followed by a written report to indicate that the test has been rejected.


Complete all fields of the Reference Bacteriology Requisition, including:

  • test(s) requested
  • culture information
  • clinical/epidemiology
  • contact information

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Specimen should be transferred to the laboratory within 48 hours of collection.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Streptococcus pneumoniae cultures are tested daily, Monday to Friday.

Turnaround time for test results is up to 4 days from receipt by PHO laboratory for Identification/confirmation. 

Turnaround time for test results is up to 28 days from receipt by PHO laboratory for serotyping.

Test Methods

Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates are identified by conventional biochemicals.

Isolates from systemic infections are forwarded to the Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg for Typing.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.


LAB-SD-125, Reference Bacteriology and Antimicrobial Susceptibility: New Requisition and Testing Algorithm for Improved Test Utilization

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Updated 25 Sep 2019