Pathogenesis of labyrinthitis associated with haemophilus influenza type b meningitis in infant rats

Bernhard L. Wiedermann, Edith P. Hawkins, Gail S. Johnson, Linda B. Lamberth, Edward Mason, Sheldon Kaplan

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24 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of labyrinthitis associated with bacterial meningitis was studied by histopathologic examination of inner ears of 114 rats with Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis produced by ip inoculation of one of 13 clinical isolates. Findings consisted of inflammation of the perilymphatic spaces of the cochlea and semicircular canals with sparing of the endolymphatic space, cochlear nerve fibers, and middle ear. The degree of inflammation peaked at 48 hr after inoculation, then declined by 96 to 144 hr. No interstrain differences in type or degree of pathology were observed. Immunofluorescent staining of cochleae from 15 animals demonstrated that bacteria were present in areas of inflammation and also in the endolymphatic space and organ of Corti. One isolate displayed a tendency to accumulate in the perilymphatic spaces in larger numbers than those seen with three other isolates. These findings suggest that, in this model, inflammation reaches the inner ear by spreading from the subarachnoid place. Bacterial invasion of the organ of Corti may be one mechanism by which deafness occurs in bacterial meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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