National Center for Invasive Pneumococci (NZPn) - Carlo Casanova, Markus Hilty & Stephen Leib


The Institute has been host to the Swiss National Center for Pneumococci since its inception 2002. The Center, funded by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), provides a representative and prospective surveillance of the circulating pneumococcal serotypes and their resistance to antibiotics.


Which pneumococcal isolates are collected?

All isolates from normally sterile sites (Blood, CSF, biopsies etc.) are monitored.

Which tests are performed?

  • All isolates are tested for a lack of susceptibility to oxacillin, erythromycin, levofloxacin and co-trimoxazole. In cases of non-susceptibility to oxacillin, the Penicillin G MIC is determined; in cases of non-susceptibility to Penicillin G, the ceftriaxone MIC is determined.
  • All isolates are serotyped by means of the Quellung reaction.
  • Molecular typing of isolates is performed upon request, or for specific research projects (e.g. Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST)).

How are individual results communicated?

All results are delivered to the respective laboratories upon completion of testing.

How are the epidemiological data reported?

Analysis of epidemiological data is done once per year, and the results are published nationally (e.g. BAG bulletin), and sometimes, internationally (e.g. ECCMID).

Submission of isolates

Please ensure that you send only pure cultures of pneumococcal isolates to the Center. Isolates should be accompanied by a completed form (provided upon request)

Data protection

Patient data is treated confidentially; only anonymized data is sent to the FOPH.

Contact person: Markus Hilty PhD, Phone: 031/ 632 49 83 E-Mail:


Dr. phil. nat. Carlo Casanova (Diagnostik, Administration)

031/ 632 87 78

Dr. phil. nat. Markus Hilty (Forschungsprojekte)

031/ 632 49 83