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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2001 Jul;1(4):358-63.

Vaccine prevention of acute otitis media.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Division of Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Room 4B-320, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2583, USA.


The incidence of acute otitis media (AOM) in infants and young children has increased dramatically in recent years in the United States. AOM often follows upper respiratory tract infections due to pathogens such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza virus, and parainfluenza virus (PIV). These viruses cause eustachian tube dysfunction that is critical to the pathogenesis of AOM. Vaccines against these viruses would likely reduce the incidence of AOM. In three previous studies, influenza virus vaccines reduced the incidence of AOM by 30% to 36%. Vaccines to prevent infections with RSV and PIV type 3 are undergoing clinical testing at this time. Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), and Moraxella catarrhalis are the three most common AOM pathogens. Heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is effective in preventing invasive disease and AOM caused by serotypes contained in the vaccine. Vaccine candidates for NTHi and M. catarrhalis are under development.

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