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Clin Infect Dis. 1992 Dec;15(6):955-8.

Aerobic and anaerobic microbiology of external otitis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.


Microbiological and clinical data from 46 patients with external otitis were retrospectively evaluated. Specimens were processed for isolation of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. A total of 42 aerobic bacteria, 22 anaerobic bacteria, and 3 Candida albicans organisms were recovered. Aerobic bacteria only were isolated from 31 patients (67%), anaerobic bacteria only were isolated from 8 (17%), and mixed aerobic and anaerobic bacteria were isolated from 4 (9%). C. albicans alone was recovered from two patients (4%), and the organism was mixed with aerobic bacteria in one case (2%). The most common isolates were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (19 instances), Peptostreptococcus species (11), Staphylococcus aureus (7), and Bacteroides species (5). One isolate was recovered from 30 patients (65%), 2 isolates were recovered from 11 (24%), and 3 isolates were recovered from 5 (11%). beta-Lactamase activity was detected in 32 isolates recovered from 27 specimens (59%). These data illustrate the polymicrobial nature of external otitis in one-third of the patients and the role of anaerobic bacteria in one-quarter of them. Further prospective studies are warranted for evaluating the role of anaerobic bacteria in this infection and the therapeutic implications of these findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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