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Acta Otolaryngol. 1988 Jan-Feb;105(1-2):126-31.

Nasopharyngeal bacteriology and secretory otitis media in young children.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Gentofte University Hospital, Denmark.


A prevalence study was performed on the nasopharyngeal bacteriology of 112 young children, aged 4-6 years. During the preceding 2 years, 74 of these children had suffered from secretory otitis media (SOM) and 40 had had normal middle ear ventilation. At the examination, one-third of the children with SOM had improved their middle ear status (previous SOM group), whereas otomicroscopy and tympanometry remained unchanged in the healthy group. The nasopharyngeal swab sample was obtained from behind the soft palate by the oral route. The isolation rate of Streptococcus pneumoniae was significantly higher in the SOM group than in the two other groups of children (p less than 0.006). The most commonly isolated capsular types of pneumococci were 6, 19, and 23, corresponding to the types involved in acute otitis media. The isolation rate of Haemophilus influenzae was 50% and an even distribution was found among the three groups of children examined. Biotypes I, II, III and IV accounted for 75% of the isolated cases of H. influenzae. As in acute otitis media, S. pneumoniae also seemed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of tubal dysfunction and SOM, and the difference is probably caused by variations in the quantitative colonization of pneumococci in the nasopharynx.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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