The ability to identify rapidly organisms to the species, and at times subspecies level, is an important step in the treatment of bacterial infections and for monitoring the spread of microorganisms. Conventional identification of streptococci relies on the isolation and culturing of bacterial cells, and then submitting the culture to a battery of biochemical tests. Whereas these panels are useful and have a fairly high degree of accuracy, they can suffer from preparation time and problems with the identification of nutritionally variant strains (mainly with the viridans streptococci). Biochemical classification also lacks the ability to type species to the level of a particular clonal population or strain. Although not as important from the diagnostic perspective, the ability to type bacteria to the clonal level is important for epidemiologic studies of disease outbreaks.
Woodford, N., Johnson, A., McLaughlin, R. E., & Ferretti, J. J. (2003). Molecular Approaches to the Identification of Streptococci. In Molecular Bacteriology (pp. 117–138). Humana Press. https://doi.org/10.1385/0-89603-498-4:117