Mouse models for the study of mucosal vaccination against otitis media

Vaccine. 2008 Mar 17;26(12):1501-24. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.01.029. Epub 2008 Feb 4.


Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common infectious diseases in humans. The pathogenesis of OM involves nasopharyngeal (NP) colonization and retrograde ascension of the pathogen up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear (ME). Due to increasing rates of antibiotic resistance, there is an urgent need for vaccines to prevent infections caused by the most common causes of bacterial OM, including nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Moraxella catarrhalis. Current vaccine strategies aim to diminish bacterial NP carriage, thereby reducing the likelihood of developing acute OM. To be effective, vaccination should induce local mucosal immunity both in the ME and in the NP. Studies in animal models have demonstrated that the intranasal route of vaccination is particularly effective at inducing immune responses in the nasal passage and ME for protection against OM. The mouse is increasingly used in these models, because of the availability of murine reagents and the existence of technology to manipulate murine models of disease immunologically and genetically. Previous studies confirmed the suitability of the mouse as a model for inflammatory processes in acute OM. Here, we discuss various murine models of OM and review the applicability of these models to assess the efficacy of mucosal vaccination and the mechanisms responsible for protection. In addition, we discuss various mucosal vaccine antigens, mucosal adjuvants and mucosal delivery systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal / immunology*
  • Immunity, Mucosal / physiology
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Mice
  • Otitis Media / immunology*
  • Otitis Media / prevention & control*
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Vaccines