Moraxella (branhamella) catarrhalis-induced experimental otitis media in the Chinchilla

Myung Hyun Chung, Ronel Enrique, David J. Lim, Thomas F. De Maria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Otitis media was introduced in chinchillas by direct transbullar inoculation with either viable or formalin-inactivated Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis. Both groups of animals developed middle ear fluids (MEF) and severe inflammatory changes in the tubotympanum. Pure cultures of M. catarrhalis were recovered for up to 5 days after inoculation from those animals inoculated with viable bacteria. Significantly elevated anti-M. catarrhalis antibody titers were detected in post-inoculation sera and in MEF or bullar lavages, and an increased number of IgG-bearing cells was also observed in the tubotympanum of these animals. Control chinchillas inoculated with pyrogen-free sterile saline failed to show any signs of otitis media. Our data indicate that viable M. catarrhalis induce acute otitis media in the chinchilla but that the bacteria are rapidly eliminated from the middle ear, precluding its usefulness as a model to study acute otitis media. Moreover, the same concentration of nonviable organisms also induces severe inflammatory changes in the middle ear. These data indicate that the chinchilla may be a useful model for studying the role of nonviable M. catarrhalis or its cell wall components on the induction and persistence of inflammation in the middle ear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994


  • Chinchilla model
  • Moraxella catarrhalis
  • Otitis media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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