Pathophysiology of streptococcus pneumoniae otitis media: Kinetics of the middle ear biochemical and cytologic host responses

Naobumi Nonomura, G. Scott Giebink, Steven S Juhn, Dorothee Aeppli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important bacterial pathogen in the pathophysiology of otitis media. To elucidate the inflammatory responses that occur during pneumococcal otitis media, the kinetics of the biochemical and cytologic middle ear responses to heat-killed encapsulated and nonencapsulated pneumococci were studied in the chinchilla model. Inoculation of the middle ear cavity with at least 106 S pneumoniae cells induced an early, brief vascular response with leakage of small (albumin) followed by larger (α2-macroglobulin) proteins, followed by sustained influx of acute inflammatory cells and lysozyme. The threshold for a sustained lysozyme response was 1,000 times lower for nonencapsulated than for encapsulated pneumococci. These results indicate that nonviable S pneumoniae organisms with an intact envelope initiate the middle ear inflammatory response. Therefore, interventions that enhance the clearance of pneumococcal cells from the middle ear may reduce the inflammatory response and prevent chronic middle ear inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-243
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1991

Keywords

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • bacterial cell wall
  • inflammation
  • otitis media

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