Which bacteria are etiologic agents in acute otitis media (AOM)?

Updated: Sep 25, 2019
  • Author: John D Donaldson, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Pathogenic bacteria are recovered from the middle ear effusion in at least half the children with AOM, and bacterial DNA or cell wall debris is found in another quarter to a third of specimens previously classified as sterile. Four bacteria—namely, S pneumoniae, H influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Streptococcus pyogenes —are responsible for the majority of episodes of AOM in persons older than 6 weeks. Other bacteria recovered and implicated in AOM include Staphylococcus aureus, viridans streptococci, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The emergence of resistance to antimicrobial agents is of increasing importance in the management of AOM and other bacterial illnesses. [10] The various mechanisms used by bacteria to confer this resistance will be delineated as the common pathologic agents linked to AOM are described.


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