Streptococcus pneumoniae can asymptomatically colonize the nasopharynx and cause adiverse range of illnesses. This clinical spectrum from colonization to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) appears to depend on the pneumococcal capsular serotype rather than the genetic background. According to a literature review, serotypes 1, 4, 5, 7F, 8, 12F, 14, 18C, and 19A are more likely to cause IPD. Although serotypes 1 and 19A are the predominant causes of invasive pneumococcal pneumonia, serotype 14 remains one of the most common etiologic agents of non-bacteremic pneumonia in adults, even after 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) introduction. Serotypes 1, 3, and 19A pneumococci are likely to cause empyema and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Serotype 1 pneumococcal meningitis is prevalent in the African meningitis belt, with a high fatality rate. In contrast to the capsule type, genotype is more closely associated with antibiotic resistance. CC320/271 strains expressing serotype 19A are multidrug-resistant (MDR) and prevalent worldwide in the era of PCV7. Several clones of MDR serotype 6C pneumococci emerged, and a MDR 6D clone (ST282) has been identified in Korea. Since the pneumococcal epidemiology of capsule types varies geographically and temporally, a nationwide serosurveillance system is vital to establishing appropriate vaccination strategies for each country. © 2013 The Korean Academy of Medical Sciences.