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Scanning Electron Micrograph of Streptococcus pneumoniae. S. pneumoniae is a leading cause of pneumonia in all ages (particularly the young and old), often following viral infection or damage to the upper respiratory tract. It also causes middle ear infections (otitis media). The organism often spreads causing bacteremia and meningitis. S. pneumoniae is a hemolytic and there is no group antigen. Colorized version of image number BB7454.