Pneumococcal PCR




  • CSF or blood may be used for the diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis
  • Blood should only be tested when pneumococcal meningitis is a likely diagnosis
  • All cases of suspected invasive pneumococcal disease should have blood cultures taken
  • For severe pneumococcal disease a pneumococcal urinary antigen test may be of value
  • Pneumococcal meningitis disease is a notifiable disease. Click for notification form.

Sample requirements


This will be performed on selected CSF samples sent for microscopy and culture.

See Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)


Plasma (preferred) or serum - paired samples not required

4ml of blood taken into an EDTA Tube




For babies and small children a minimum of one full 2mL paediatric EDTA or one full paediatric Mini Collect EDTA tube is required





4 mL EDTA tube



2 mL paediatric EDTA tube

Paediatric EDTA tube

Required information

  • Relevant clinical details
  • Length of history
  • Prior administration of antibiotics
  • Vaccination history


CSF samples must be transported immediately to the laboratory

Please inform the laboratory when CSF samples are collected

Store blood samples at fridge temperature and transport as soon as possible at ambient temperature

Turnaround time

Sent to a National Reference Centre

Up to 7 days

Page last reviewed: 15/07/2014