Detection of pneumococcal polysaccharide antigens in the urine of patients with bacteraemic and non-bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonia

Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1994 Nov;281(4):451-6. doi: 10.1016/s0934-8840(11)80331-2.


Countercurrent-immunoelectrophoresis (CIE) was used to detect pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide and C-polysaccharide (C-Ps) antigens in urine. The neutral capsular polysaccharides of types 7F and 14 were detected by coagglutination. We found pneumococcal polysaccharide in urine with the same frequency in two groups of patients, i.e. a non-bacteraemic pneumonia group (68%) and a group of patients with pneumococcal bacteraemia (66%). C-Ps was detected in the urine of two patients (4%) and, therefore, this test has no value in the diagnosis of pneumococcal infections. Since there is no sensitive, non-invasive, single procedure for the diagnosis of non-bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonia we conclude that attempts to detect pneumococcal capsular polysaccharide by CIE in combination with coagglutination (types 7F and 14) may be a useful diagnostic supplement in the search for the etiological agent in pneumonia in adults until new, more sensitive diagnostic methods have been developed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Bacterial / urine*
  • Bacteremia / urine*
  • Counterimmunoelectrophoresis
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia, Pneumococcal / urine*
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / urine*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • polysaccharide C-substance (Streptococcus)