Streptococcus pneumoniae expresses more than 90 capsule types, and currently available pneumococcal vaccines are designed to provide serotype-specific protection. Consequently, serotyping of pneumococcal isolates is important for determining the serotypes to be included in pneumococcal vaccines and to monitor their efficacy. Yet serotyping of pneumococcal isolates has remained a significant technical challenge. By multiplexing many assays, we have now developed a simple yet comprehensive serotyping assay system that can not only identify all known pneumococcal serotypes but also subdivide nontypeable (NT) isolates into those with or without the conventional capsule locus. We have developed this assay system to require only six key reagents: two are used in one multiplex inhibition-type immunoassay, and four are required in two multiplex PCR-based assays. The assay system is largely automated by a seamless combination of monoclonal antibodybased and PCR-based multiplex assays using the flow cytometric bead array technology from Luminex. The assay system has been validated with a panel of pneumococci expressing all known pneumococcal serotypes and was found to be easily transferable to another laboratory. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.