Microbial glycan microarrays (MGMs) populated with purified microbial glycans have been used to define the specificity of host immune factors toward microbes in a high throughput manner. However, a limitation of such arrays is that glycan presentation may not fully recapitulate the natural presentation that exists on microbes. This raises the possibility that interactions observed on the array, while often helpful in predicting actual interactions with intact microbes, may not always accurately ascertain the overall affinity of a host immune factor for a given microbe. Using galectin-8 (Gal-8) as a probe, we compared the specificity and overall affinity observed using a MGM populated with glycans harvested from various strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae to an intact microbe microarray (MMA). Our results demonstrate that while similarities in binding specificity between the MGM and MMA are apparent, Gal-8 binding toward the MMA more accurately predicted interactions with strains of S. pneumoniae, including the overall specificity of Gal-8 antimicrobial activity. Taken together, these results not only demonstrate that Gal-8 possesses antimicrobial activity against distinct strains of S. pneumoniae that utilize molecular mimicry, but that microarray platforms populated with intact microbes present an advantageous strategy when exploring host interactions with microbes.