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Volume 34, Number 3, September 2001

Pathogens in the middle ear effusion of children with persistent otitis media: implications of drug resistance and complications

Wen-Chen Li, Nan-Chang Chiu, Chyong-Hsin Hsu
Department of Pediatrics, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC



Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common disease for which pediatricians prescribe antimicrobial agents. Middle ear fluid were collected from 243 children with AOM that failed to respond to a previous course of antimicrobial therapy and who had then received myringotomy from September 1997 through August 1999. Bacterial cultures were done and antimicrobial susceptibilities were analyzed. Streptococcus pneumoniae (21.8%) was the most common causative organism, followed by Haemophilus influenzae (10.2%), Staphylococcus aureus (7%), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (1.8%), while Moraxella catarrhalis (0.7%) and group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (0.2%) were rarely isolated. In patients whose condition failed to improve after a course of antibiotic treatment, drug resistance became a serious problem. Fourteen percent of the patients in this series had complications, which included recurrent AOM, persistent middle ear effusion necessitating ventilation tube insertion, hearing impairment, mastoiditis, meningitis, chronic otitis media, brain abscess, and sepsis. Possible risk factors such as young age, male sex, underlying diseases, and a culture of S. pneumoniae or H. influenzae were not significantly associated with an increased incidence of complications. More stringent diagnosis and the correct choice of antibiotic treatment combined with the introduction of potential virus and bacterial vaccines are promising ways to reduce the morbidity of AOM in children.



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2001;34:190-194.