Purpose: Serotyping pneumococcal isolates is important to monitor efficacy of pneumococcal vaccines. Because of difficulties of typing pnueumocci, a multiplex bead-based (multibead) serotyping assay was recently introduced. The aim of this study is to establish a new multibead serotyping assay and to apply this method to analyze clinical isolates of pneumococci in Korea. Methods: To establish the multibead serotyping assay, six key reagents were transferred from University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to Ewha Center for Vaccine Evaluation and Study (ECVES): bead set coated with polysaccharide and monoclonal antibody pool were used in one multiplex inhibition-type immunoassay and 2 bead sets coated DNA probe and 2 primer pools were used in two multiplex PCR-based assays. After multibead serotyping assay was set up, 75 test samples of pneumococci were analyzed whether ECVES is able to identify serotype correctly. After confirming the performance, serotyping assay was applied to identify serotypes of 528 clinical isolates of pneumococci collected from 3 different hospitals. Results: After establishment of the multibead pneumococcal serotyping assay system at ECVES, 75 test samples were analyzed. There was no discrepancy of serotypes of 75 test samples between the results assigned at UAB and those at ECVES. The serotypes of 528 pneumococci isolated from patients or healthy subjects were determined in 94.3% of isolates (498/528). Conclusions: The multibead pneumococcal serotyping assay can be successfully established in Korea. With this method, surveillance of serotypes of pneumococci isolated from patients as well as healthy subjects could be studied.
- Streptococcus pneumoniae