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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


PEREIRA, M. Beatriz Rotta; PEREIRA, Manuel R; CANTARELLI, Vlademir  and  COSTA, Sady S. Prevalence of bacteria in children with otitis media with effusion. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2004, vol.80, n.1, pp.41-48. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVES: 1) To determine the prevalence of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis in middle ear effusions of children with otitis media with effusion undergoing myringotomy; 2) to compare the results obtained by culture and PCR; and 3) to determine the susceptibility of bacterial isolates to penicillin. METHODS: We analyzed 128 middle ear effusion specimens from 75 children (age = 11 months to 10 years; mean = 34.7 months). Patients with recurrent otitis media had documented middle ear effusion for > 6 weeks, and chronic otitis media with effusion for > 3 months. The patients had no signs of acute otitis media or respiratory tract infection and were not on antibiotic therapy. Aspiration was done through tympanocentesis with an Alden-Senturia trap. Bacteriological studies were initiated less than 15 minutes after specimen collection. Part of the sample was stored at -20ºC for later multiplex PCR analysis. Statistical analysis employed McNemar's c2 test. RESULTS: Bacteria were cultured in 32 (25.1%) out of 128 samples and the pathogens under investigation were found in 25 (19.6%). PCR was positive for bacteria in 73 (57.0%) specimens: 50 (39.1%) for H. influenzae, 16 (12.5%) for S. pneumoniae, and 13 (10.2%) for M. catarrhalis. All the culture-positive samples were PCR-positive, but 48 (65.7%) of the PCR-positive specimens were culture-negative. PCR was significantly more sensitive than culture (p < 0.01) to identify bacteria. Resistance to penicillin was as follows: M. catarrhalis = 100%; S. pneumoniae = 62.5% and H. influenzae = 23% of the isolates. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of bacteria in otitis media with effusion in a group of Brazilian children was similar to that reported for other countries. H. influenzae was the most frequent microorganism observed. This suggests that bacteria may play a role in the pathogenesis of otitis media with effusion. In addition, PCR was more sensitive to detect bacteria in middle ear effusion as compared to conventional culture methods. Penicillin resistance was similar to that reported for other countries for pneumococci and moraxella, but beta-lactamase production by H. influenza was lower than that reported for other countries.

Keywords : Otitis media; otitis media with effusion [microbiology]; ear, middle [microbiology]; PCR; prevalence studies; child.

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