Dynamics of interleukin-1 production in middle ear fluid during acute otitis media treated with antibiotics

A. Barzilai, E. Leibovitz, J. H. Laver, L. Piglansky, S. Raiz, M. R. Abboud, D. M. Fliss, A. Leiberman, R. Dagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In an ongoing prospective study, IL-1 concentrations were measured in 78 children (aged 3-36 months) with acute otitis media receiving antibiotics. Middle ear fluid IL-1 concentrations were determined using ELISA kits. Ninety-eight middle ear fluid samples were obtained by tympanocentesis at enrollment (day 1) and 43 samples were collected on days 4-5. Ninety-two pathogens were isolated in 77/98 samples obtained on day 1: 55 Haemophilus influenzae, 34 Streptococcus pneumoniae, 2 Moraxella catarrhalis and 1 Streptococcus pyogenes. Among 37 paired samples initially culture-positive, eradication of the pathogen was achieved on day 4-5 in 20 while pathogens were still present in 17. On day 1, IL-1 was detected in 61/77 (79%) culture-positive samples vs 9/21 (43%) culture-negative ones (P = 0.003). The mean ± SD middle ear fluid concentration of IL-1 on day 1 was significantly higher in culture-positive (316 ± 508 pg/ml) than in culture-negative samples (111 ± 245 pg/ml) (P = 0.01). When paired samples were evaluated, IL-1 decreased on days 4-5 in 13/20 (65%) ears where bacterial eradication was achieved, but also in 11/19 (58%) with persistent or new infection. The mean IL-1 concentrations decreased on days 4-5 in the 20 samples from ears where bacterial eradication was achieved (330 ± 460 vs 118 ± 294 pg/ml, P = 0.1) but also in the 17 samples where it was not (465 ± 660 vs 232 ± 289 pg/ml, P = 0.2). No significant differences were found between day 1 and days 4-5 in the mean IL-1 concentrations measured in patients with H. influenzae vs S. pneumoniae or concomitant H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae. It was concluded that: 1) IL-1 was detected in the middle ear fluid of most patients with acute otitis media; 2) significantly higher IL-1 concentrations were found in patients with culture-positive than in those with culture-negative acute otits media; 3) IL-1 concentrations decreased on days 4-5 of antibiotic therapy, whether the pathogen was eradicated or not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-176
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - 14 Jun 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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