Journal Article

Microbiology of Acute Otitis Media in Children with Tympanostomy Tubes: Prevalences of Bacteria and Viruses

Aino Ruohola, Olli Meurman, Simo Nikkari, Tuukka Skottman, Aimo Salmi, Matti Waris, Riikka Österback, Erkki Eerola, Tobias Allander, Hubert Niesters, Terho Heikkinen and Olli Ruuskanen

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 43, issue 11, pages 1417-1422
Published in print December 2006 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 2006 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/509332
Microbiology of Acute Otitis Media in Children with Tympanostomy Tubes: Prevalences of Bacteria and Viruses

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Background. Bacteria are found in 50%–90% of cases of acute otitis media (AOM) with or without otorrhea, and viruses are found in 20%–49% of cases. However, for at least 15% of patients with AOM, the microbiological etiology is never determined. Our aim was to specify the full etiology of acute middle ear infection by using modern microbiological methods concomitantly for bacterial and viral detection.

Methods. The subjects were 79 young children having AOM with new onset (<48 h) of otorrhea through a tympanostomy tube. Middle ear fluid samples were suctioned from the middle ear through the tympanostomy tube. Bacteria were sought by culture and polymerase chain reaction; viruses were analyzed by culture, antigen detection, and polymerase chain reaction.

Results. At least 1 respiratory tract pathogen was noted in 76 children (96%). Bacteria were found in 73 cases (92%), and viruses were found in 55 (70%). In 52 patients (66%), both bacteria and viruses were found. Bacteria typical of AOM were detected in 86% of patients. Picornaviruses accounted for 60% of all viral findings.

Conclusions. In the great majority of children, AOM is a coinfection with bacteria and viruses. The patent tympanostomy tube does not change the spectrum of causative agents in AOM. A microbiological etiology can be established in practically all cases.

Journal Article.  3873 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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