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J Infect. 2007 Oct;55(4):300-9. Epub 2007 Aug 10.

Rapid diagnosis of pneumococcal pneumonia among HIV-infected adults with urine antigen detection.

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Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, MMC 250, 420 Delaware St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.



Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of bacterial pneumonia and associated bacteremia during HIV infection. Rapid diagnostic assays may limit inappropriate therapy.


Clinical signs and symptoms and sera and urine were collected prospectively from 70 adults with pneumococcal pneumonia, including 47 with HIV co-infection. Pneumococcal C-polysaccharide antigen was detected in urine using the Binax immunochromatographic test (ICT). A systematic review of 24 published studies was conducted.


Clinical symptoms, signs, and laboratory parameters except leukocytosis, were similar in HIV-infected and HIV-seronegative pneumonia. The performance of the urine antigen ICT was independent of HIV-status (sensitivity 81%, specificity 98%, positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) 98%, and 82%, respectively). The sensitivity of sputum Gram's stain was 58% (34/59) with sputum unable to be provided by 16%. The CRP response was identical in HIV-infected (mean+/-SD) 133+/-88 vs. seronegative 135+/-104 mg/L (p=0.9). In the systematic review, the ICT performance revealed 74% sensitivity (95% CI 72-77%) and 94% specificity (95% CI 93-95%). Urine antigen testing increases etiologic diagnosis by 23% (range: 10-59%) when testing adults with community acquired pneumonia of unknown etiology.


Urinary antigen detection provides a credible rapid diagnostic test for pneumococcal pneumonia regardless of HIV-status. CRP response to acute infection is similar in HIV co-infection and increases diagnostic certainty.

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