What is the role of subminimal serum antibiotics in the treatment of 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

Subminimal serum levels of antibiotics have been shown to disrupt adhesive bonds between bacteria and mucosal cell walls and to provide a postantibiotic effect, in which the reproduction of bacteria is disrupted for a period of hours after antibiotic exposure. Similarly, a leukocyte-enhancing action has been demonstrated at these low concentrations.

When antibiotics are used in this manner, marked variations are found in both the effectiveness of individual agents and the susceptibility of individual pathogens. Generally, beta-lactam antibiotics are most successful against gram-positive pathogens for both disruption of adhesion and postantibiotic effect.


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