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Bacterial test

Dilworth dilworth at megsinet.net
Mon Jun 5 23:34:23 EST 2000

First of all, are you a rep for Binax?  It seems fairly obvious you're pushing
this test.  I think you should fess up if you are.  People in these newsgroups
handle things better if you place all your cards on the table up front!

There are urinary rapid antigen tests for Legionella.  I for one have never
heard of a urinary antigen for S. pneumoniae.  I put myself in the category of
"experienced technologist" who has seen many lousily collected sputum specimens,
and also quite a few textbook pictures of S. pneumoniae on gram stain that
correlated with culture results.  I've also seen quite a few "in-between" gram
stains.  Gram stains, properly read, of course, can give the doc a really good
idea of what's going to grow.  I worked 3-11 alone in micro for 8 years.  I read
the bulk of the gram smears on my shift.  If I was suspicious of a particular
pathogen, I always indicated this on the work sheet, and I probably hit bingo
over 90% of the time.  A properly trained microbiologist should have no trouble
spotting S. pneumo on either a slide or a plate.  This is basic microbiology!
There are so many penicillin resistant S. pneumoniae's around now, that I would
want susceptibility testing done on any sputum isolate.  This organism accounts
for 20% mortality in the elderly and is not something you mess around with.  I
can see the need for rapid antigen testing, but would want to back it up with a

If I saw "urinary antigen" on a requisition, I would call the physician and ask
him/her what in the heck they wanted to test for.  That is an unclear order any
way you put it.

Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
Microbiology 25 years

JohnC wrote:

> Binax recently released a new technology which is a rapid antigen test
> for the detection of S. pneumoniae using urine.  We are surveying
> clinicians and labortorians to find out if by saying,"urinary antigen"
> that it will be confused with existing antigen testing methodologies
> and their performance record.  If you heard a person mention, urinary
> antigen test for S. pneumoniae, would you assume they were talking
> about________
> (A) New test methodology, but not sure what it is
> (B) Old test methodology, but not sure what it is
> (C) Serology
> (D) Bacterial Latex Agglutination test using urine
> (E) Other

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