Risk factors for otitis media and carriage of multiple strains of Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae

Emerg Infect Dis. Nov-Dec 2000;6(6):622-30. doi: 10.3201/eid0606.000611.


We studied genetic diversity in Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae in throat culture isolates from 38 children attending two day-care centers in Michigan. Culture specimens were collected weekly; 184 S. pneumoniae and 418 H. influenzae were isolated from the cultures. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis identified 29 patterns among the S. pneumoniae isolates and 87 among the H. influenzae isolates. Of the cultures, 5% contained multiple genetic types of S. pneumoniae, and 43% contained multiple types of H. influenzae. Carriage of multiple H. influenzae isolates, which was associated with exposure to smoking, history of allergies, and age 36 to 47 months, may increase risk for otitis media in children.

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Haemophilus influenzae / genetics
  • Haemophilus influenzae / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Otitis Media / etiology*
  • Pharynx / microbiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / genetics
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / isolation & purification*