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Eur Respir J. 2003 Feb;21(2):209-14.

Rapid urinary antigen test for diagnosis of pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia in adults.

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Dept of Microbiology, Institute of Infections and Immunology, Hospital Clinic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Streptococcus pneumoniae is suspected to cause an important proportion of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) whose aetiology cannot be detected with conventional tests. In this study, the authors evaluated the diagnostic yield of a new immunochromatographic membrane test (ICT) for the detection of the S. pneumoniae antigen in the urine of patients admitted with diagnosed CAP. ICT was performed in unconcentrated and concentrated urine from all the patients. ICT was repeated 1 month after discharge in a group initially testing positive. The authors also studied the ICT in clinically stable human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1)-infected patients. S. pneumoniae antigen was detected in all of the 68 (100%) patients tested with definitive pneumococcal pneumonia. In five of these cases ICT was only positive when it had been performed on the patients. The S. pneumoniae antigen was also detected in 36 (69.2%) of 52 patients with probable pneumococcal pneumonia and in 50 of 277 (18%) patients without pneumococcal pneumonia. ICT remained positive in 16 (69.5%) of 23 patients, 1 month after hospital discharge. Nasopharyngeal colonisation with S. pneumoniae was detected in 8 (12%) of 68 clinically stable HIV1 infected patients, but none tested ICT positive. The Binax NOW it immunochromatographic membrane test is a rapid, sensitive and specific test for detecting pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia in adults. The test may remain positive for several weeks after pneumococcal pneumonia.

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