Panel discussion: Pathogenesis of otitis media. Bacteriology and immunology

David J. Lim, Thomas F. Demaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Three features of otitis media with effusion (OME) are important in understanding its pathogenesis: 1. it is most common among children, when the eustachian tube is poorly developed; 2. it is most common during the winter months, when the common cold is prevalent; and 3. bacteria are found in a large number of middle ear effusions from OME patients. Although middle ear effusions are conventionally thought to be sterile, numerous recent investigations favor a bacterial pathogenesis of OME. Four possibilities can be considered: 1. bacteria are modified by antibiotics or antibodies, causing a lingering inflammation; 2. early antibiotic treatment may interfere with the development of local immunity; 3. bacterial antigen trapped in the middle ear causes immune injury leading to OME; and 3. bacterial endotoxin and inflammatory mediators cause middle ear effusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-286
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Panel discussion: Pathogenesis of otitis media. Bacteriology and immunology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this