Microbial profiling and risk factors assessment for Otitis Media and Otitis Externa

Tayyaba Ijaz, Aftab Ahmad Anjum, Sana Aslam, Sarwat Ali Raja, Abdul Rehman Khawaja, Saadia Ijaz


Background: Otitis media and otitis externa are common otological manifestations in all generations especially in children. There is lack of accurate identification of the causative agent and thus poor diagnosis for such infections. Therefore, it leads to permanent anatomical disabilities including poor speech and defects in balancing and hearing. The study was conducted to isolate, characterize and identify the microbes causing otitis media and otitis externa. Methods: A total of 250 patients having otitis media and otitis externa were enrolled in the study from March 2011 to October 2011. All patients were examined through clinical examination and detailed history was collected. Pus samples from the discharging ears were plated on MacConkey’s, Chocolate and Blood agar for 24 to 48 hours. Isolates were identified on the basis of morphology, staining reactions and various biochemical tests. Results: In this study, only 6% cases yielded no growth, 14% yielded mixed cultures while 80% cases yielded pure cultures. The presumptive diagnosis for ear swabbing was otitis media (76%) and otitis externa (24%). The most common bacterial isolates obtained were Staphylococcus aureus (43.3%) followed byPseudomonas aeruginosa (25%) in the diagnosed cases of otitis media. While for the cases of otitis externa,Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the predominant organism with 52.2%. Infection of otitis media was most common among children and the persons having low socioeconomic conditions. Conclusion: Pseudomonas aeruginosa was identified as the principal pathogen followed by Staphylococcus aureus. To circumvent the painful effects of acute and chronic ear infections, an accurate microbial profiling may play pivotal role.

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