Otitis media is a common childhood infection of the middle ear and a major cause of morbidity. This multifactorial disease manifests as a spectrum of clinical syndromes from uncomplicated acute otitis media to more complex recurrent and chronic cases (frequently polymicrobial), with the major pathogens involved being Streptococcus pneumoniae and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) target only a few serotypes that cause otitis media; however, results from studies suggest that existing PCVs can prevent early episodes of disease associated with vaccine serotypes, resulting in a reduction of subsequent complex cases caused by non-vaccine serotypes and other otopathogens, which contribute considerably to the disease burden. In this Review, we discuss the role of pneumococcus in the disease continuum and assess clinical evidence showing the effect of prevention of early episodes on the complex interplay between bacterial species implicated in otitis media.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases