Bacterial and polymorphonuclear leukocyte contribution to middle ear inflammation in chronic otitis media with effusion

G. S. Giebink, B. A. Carlson, S. V. Hetherington, M. K. Hostetter, Chap T Le, Steven S Juhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bacteria can be cultured from approximately one third of chronic middle ear effusions, yet the contribution of these bacteria to the pathogenesis of chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) is not clear due to the absence of signs and symptoms of acute infection in most children with this disease. To explore the role of bacteria in chronic OME, lysozyme, lactoferrin, serum complement factors C3 and C5a, and polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMNL) chemotaxin content was measured in 21 chronic middle ear effusion samples. Concentrations of lysozyme, lactoferrin, and chemotaxin were significantly higher in culture-positive than in sterile effusions. Lysozyme appeared to be contributed by both PMNL and non-PMNL sources in the middle ear space. These non-PMNL sources, presumably middle ear epithelial cells, accounted for 50% to 80% of the lysozyme variation in middle ear effusion. Although C3 and C5a were present in effusion, chemotaxin content correlated poorly with the C3 and C5a content, suggesting that chemotaxins were derived from bacterial peptides rather than from complement activation products. These results suggest that bacteria contribute to chronic middle ear inflammation with effusion. The eradication of bacteria from chronic middle ear effusion might disrupt the host responses which maintain chronic OME.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-402
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Volume94
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - 1985

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