Objective: Colonization of middle ear pathogens is facilitated in the nasopharynx of otitis-prone children, and is associated with the development of otitis media. Recently, a new species of bacterium, Alloiococcus otitidis, is considered as one of the major middle ear pathogens. However, as far as we know, no study has been reported concerning the prevalence of A. otitidis in the nasopharynx of otitis-prone children. And, no study has been conducted on the association of A. otitidis in the nasopharynx with otitis media.
Methods: The frequency of A. otitidis in 83 middle ear effusions (MEE) and 56 nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) specimens from 56 children with otitis media was investigated by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Results: A. otitidis was detected in 24 (28.9%) of MEE and in 6 (10.7%) of NPS specimens. When the frequency was investigated in relation to proneness to otitis media, A. otitidis was detected in 16 (64%) of 25 MEE and in 5 (29.4%) of 17 NPS specimens from otitis-prone children, whereas it was detected in 8 (13.8%) of 58 MEE and in 1 (2.6%) of 39 NPS specimens from non-otitis-prone children. The frequency of A. otitidis in both NPS and MEE specimens was significantly higher in otitis-prone than in non-otitis-prone children.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that colonization of A. otitidis is facilitated in the nasopharynx of otitis-prone children. And, nasopharyngeal colonization of A. otitidis may be associated with the frequency of otitis media.