Clinical significance of resistant organisms in otitis media

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Background. Otitis media is an important health care problem of childhood. The bacteriology of otitis media comprises three main pathogens: Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypable Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Although the prevalence of resistant strains varies geographically and temporally, antimicrobial resistance is widespread and increasing. Resistance to antibiotic drugs. Among the risk factors for development of resistance in otitis media are antimicrobial use, young age, day-care attendance and prior hospitalization. The increasing rate of resistance to antibiotic drugs is associated with a decreased rate of successful eradication of pathogens from middle ear fluid, which is associated with clinical failure. A bacteriologic cure rate of 80 to 85% is observed for S. pneumoniae and nontypable H. influenzae when serum concentrations exceed the MIC for 40 to 50% of dosing interval. Comparative trials indicate that some of the beta-lactams can achieve bacteriologic eradication in acute otitis media, although major differences in outcome exist among agents based on pathogen, beta-lactamase status and MIC values. Antibiotic choice. Overall the choice of antibiotics for treatment of otitis media should take into consideration their in vitro activity against the locally prevalent organisms, especially resistant organisms, and results obtained from studies in which bacteriologic outcome was used as the endpoint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-382
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Otitis media
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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