During a 1-year period from October 1995 to September 1996, 273 isolations of Streptococcus pneumoniae were made from various types of clinical specimens. The majority of the isolates (39·2%) were from sputum whilst 27·5% were from blood, CSF and other body fluids. The organism was isolated from patients of all age groups, 31·1% from children aged 10 years and below, 64·7% of which come from children aged 2 years or below. The majority of the isolates belong to serotypes 1, 6B, 19B, 19F and 23F. Serotypes 1 and 19B were the most common serotypes associated with invasive infection. About 71·9% of the invasive infections were due to serotypes included in the available 23 valent polysaccharide vaccine. The rates of resistance to penicillin and erythromycin were 7·0 and 1·1% respectively. Our findings show that the serotypes of S. pneumoniae causing most invasive infections in Malaysia are similar to those in other parts of the world and the available vaccine may have a useful role in this population.