Streptococcus pneumoniae thoracic empyema in children: rapid diagnosis by using the Binax NOW immunochromatographic membrane test in pleural fluids

Pathol Biol (Paris). 2006 Oct-Nov;54(8-9):498-501. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2006.07.031. Epub 2006 Oct 5.


Aim: To evaluate an immunochromatographic membrane test for Streptococcus pneumoniae antigen (Binax NOW, Inverness medical France) applied to pleural fluid samples.

Methods: Binax NOW was applied to the pleural fluids of 69 children with thoracic empyema, in comparison with conventional culture and molecular techniques.

Results: Binax NOW was positive on all 15 pleural fluid samples that yielded S. pneumoniae in culture, on two samples that yielded S. oralis and S. salivarius in culture and on 34 culture-negative samples. Fifteen of these 34 culture-negative samples were retrospectively tested by PCR methods, and 14 were shown to contain S. pneumoniae DNA. Thus, S. pneumoniae was identified by culture in 22% of samples and by Binax NOW in 69% of samples.

Conclusion: Binax NOW may thus be useful for rapid diagnosis of S. pneumoniae thoracic empyema.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography / methods
  • Empyema, Pleural / diagnosis
  • Empyema, Pleural / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pleural Effusion / microbiology*
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / diagnosis*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae* / isolation & purification