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Infect Immun. 1974 Jun;9(6):1028-32.

Immune response to acute otitis media in children. I. Serotypes isolated and serum and middle ear fluid antibody in pneumococcal otitis media.


Seventy percent of pneumococci isolated from the middle-ear cavity of infants and children with acute otitis media were of one of the seven serotypes 1, 3, 6, 14, 18, 19, or 23. The immunological response in the serum and middle-ear fluid from otitis media caused by one of these serotypes was studied in 61 children by using either indirect hemagglutination or indirect fluorescent antibody tests, or both. Twenty-six of the patients had pneumococcal antibody present in the acute serum and 28 had it in the convalescent serum by at least one method. Thirteen of the 49 middle-ear fluids examined had antibody by the indirect fluorescent antibody technique. Serum pneumococcal antibody was found to reside predominantly in the immunoglobulin G or immunoglobulin M classes, whereas pneumococcal antibody with middle-ear fluid was found to be distributed equally among all three classes. Approximately 25% of the patients (16 of 61) had a positive immune response to their infection as evidenced by increased levels of pneumococcal antibody in the convalescent serum. The percentage of patients responding immunologically increased with age: 12% of infants less than 12 months showed a significant response, whereas 48% of children over 24 months responded.

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