Microbiology, Referral/Sendouts, Test Utilization

New Test: Streptococcus pneumoniae Urine Antigen

As of July 11, 2017, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will offer Streptococcus pneumoniae urine antigen testing. This testing is currently sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories. By bringing testing in-house, result turnaround time will be improved by 1 day, testing will be available 7 days per week (instead of Monday – Friday), and testing can be offered at a reduced charge to our patients.

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is often diagnosed through a combination of clinical history, radiographical imaging, and sputum culture with Gram staining. As S. pneumoniae is the most common bacterial cause of CAP, urine antigen testing may be used as an adjunctive diagnostic method. The BinaxNOW® Streptococcus pneumoniae immunochromatographic  assay may be used to provide more rapid results than bacterial culture1.

Joint guidelines published by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and American Thoracic Society (ATS) recommend pneumococcal urine antigen testing for the management of CAP with the following clinical indications: ICU admission, failure of outpatient antibiotic therapy, leukopenia, active alcohol abuse, chronic severe liver disease, asplenia, or pleural effusion2. Pneumococcal urine antigen testing is more sensitive than sputum Gram staining, may be performed on patients unable to expectorate sputum, may be used even after the initiation of antibiotics, and provides a rapid result.


New Test: Streptococcus pneumoniae antigen, urine (SH#7180, Epic #LAB3672, CPT #87899)
Discontinued Test: Streptococcus pneumoniae antigen, urine (to Mayo Medical Labs) (SH#2012, Epic #LAB3241)


  1. Alere BinaxNOW® Streptococcus pneumoniae Antigen Card. Package Insert IN710050, 2016.
  2. Mandell LA, Wunderink RG, Anzueto A, et al. Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society consensus guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults. Clin Infect Dis, 2007.
Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Ian Krug July 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    How much faster will the turnaround be compared to the old test?

    • Reply SH Labs July 17, 2017 at 11:53 am

      It will about 1-3 days faster. This was previously a send out test, so we will be reducing the time it took to arrive to Mayo Medical Laboratory, plus we will be performing the test daily (MML only performs this test Monday – Friday).

    Leave a Reply

    eight + 12 =