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Streptococcus pneumoniae

Isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae are tested for species identification/confirmation of invasive specimens from patients 5 years old or younger. Serotyping for species subtype is done by sending the isolate to the regional Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPD) lab at the Minnesota Department of Health, where further testing will be performed and reported.

The VPD Epidemiologist team can be contacted by calling the general line at 317-233-7125 or by emailing Lauren Milroy ( or Makayla Culbertson (

IDOH Communicable Disease Rule 410 IAC 1-2.5-76(f) requires submission of these invasive (sterile site) isolates from children five (5) years of age or younger within three (3) business days of isolation.

Patients aged 6-12 years old may be tested, but only if prior approval is granted by the VPD epidemiologist team. Serotyping of a received isolate is not currently performed at the IDOHL but requires the isolate to be sent to the regional VPD lab at the Minnesota Department of Health. This can increase the turnaround time of reported results significantly compared to other VPD specimens.

No cost associated with this testing.

  1. Isolate should be pure, viable, and cultured onto an organism-appropriate agar medium slant.
    • The IDOHL recommends using either blood or GC agar for effective transport and subculturing of isolates.
    • Using a different medium for isolates may not allow for suitable growth upon reception at the IDOHL.
    • Isolates that cannot be grown or are shown to be overly contaminated/mixed will be cancelled and require resubmission.
  2. Isolates should only be from an invasive source.
  3. Only one isolate per patient per case will be tested.
  4. The IDOH VPD epidemiology team must be contacted for approval in order to request the testing for a patient 6-12 years of age. The VPD Epidemiology  may be contacted by calling the general line at 317-233-7125 or by emailing Lauren Milroy ( or Makayla Culbertson (

Appropriate agar medium slant in tube with screw-cap tightened or other similarly approved commercial transport medium. Blood or GC agar is the medium recommended by the IDOHL for shipping Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates.

Complete submission form on LimsNet and include a copy of the LimsNet coversheet with the sample.

  • Isolates WILL NOT be accepted unless properly entered into LimsNet.
  • Confirm the isolate container is appropriately labeled with suspected species, patient name, patient DOB, date of isolation and a unique identifier.
  • Confirm the information on the container is identical to the information entered into LimsNet.
  • Check expiration date of tube to ensure the product is acceptable and will continue to be acceptable once received at the IDOH Laboratory.
  1. Ship to:
    Indiana Department of Health Laboratories
    Attention: Reference Microbiology
    550 West 16th Street, Suite B
    Indianapolis, IN. 46202
  2. Package according to Category B UN3373 triple contained in accordance with federal shipping regulations for infectious substances/diagnostic specimens.
  3. Tighten the specimen container tube caps.
  4. Label each specimen tube with suspected species, patient name, patient DOB, date of isolation and a unique identifier
  5. Wrap each labeled, primary/specimen container tube with absorbent material. Place each primary container tube with absorbent material into the inner mailing container and tighten the cap securely.
  6. Completed submission/request form may then be wrapped around the sealed inner container and together placed securely into the outer shipping container.
  7. Clearly label the outer container with the senders name/address and recipients name/address.
  8. Do not send culture isolates on petri plates if submitting by mail.
  9. Transport Temperature:  Ambient conditions.

Reporting Method: LimsNet and Fax.
TAT: >7 business days.
Test Referral:  Isolates will be forwarded to the regional VPD laboratory for serotyping and potential additional testing. Isolates may be forwarded to the CDC for additional testing.

  • Make sure all specimens are packaged appropriately. Sample containers that are broken will not be accepted and will need to be resubmitted.
  • The IDOH Title 410 Communicable Disease Rule may be viewed here.
  • LimsNet submission information may be viewed here.