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J Infect Chemother. 2006 Apr;12(2):83-96.

Study of upper respiratory tract bacterial flora: first report. Variations in upper respiratory tract bacterial flora in patients with acute upper respiratory tract infection and healthy subjects and variations by subject age.

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  • 1Teikyo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan. mrsa@interlink.or.jp

Abstract

With the appearance of penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, there has been increasing debate concerning antimicrobial treatments for acute upper respiratory tract infection (AURTI) and acute otitis media in children. This study compares the nasopharyngeal bacterial flora in patients with AURTI (AURTI group; 710 subjects) and healthy subjects (HS group; 380 subjects). The comparisons were made between subjects aged 6 years or younger (0-6 subgroup: 330 subjects), between 7 and 74 years (7-74 subgroup: 668 subjects), and 75 years and older (92 subjects), because the subjects were subgrouped as described above dependent on the maturity of the protective immunity. In the HS group 7-74 subgroup, viridans group streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and Corynebacterium sp. with a detection rate of 10% or more were classified as normal nasal flora (NNF), and Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis were classified as drum cavity pathogens (DCP). In the 0-6 subgroup, although the detection rate for DCP bacteria in the AURTI group tended to be high, it did not reach a significant difference, whereas the detection rate for NNF bacteria was significantly lower. This trend was also observed to some degree in the other age subgroup. In the 0-6 subgroup, leukocyte infiltration observed with a microscope indicated the closest relationship between S. pneumoniae detection rate and detection quantity. These results suggest that in the 0-6 subgroup the tendency for patients with AURTI to have NNF bacteria as well as DCP bacteria should be taken into consideration.

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