The incidence of Streptococcus pneumoniae otitis media is affected by the polymicrobial environment particularly Moraxella catarrhalis in a mouse nasal colonisation model
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Otitis media (OM) is a highly prevalent paediatric disease with both bacterial and viral triggers of infection. This study has investigated how combinations of bacteria associated with nasal colonisation and the occurrence and absence of viral infection (Sendai virus) induce OM in a mouse nasal colonisation model. The respiratory virus significantly contributed to bacterial OM for all bacterial combinations ( p < 0.001). Streptococcus pneumoniae consistently dominated as the causative bacterium of OM and when co-infected with S. pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis more significantly affected pneumococcal OM than did non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae ( p < 0.001) by increasing the incidence rate, infection bacterial load and duration of infection. Nitric oxide levels in the middle ear, an indicator of inflammation, peaked at day 3 in single bacterium groups, but at day 1 in mixed bacterial groups and was produced in all bacteria inoculated groups even in the absence of viable bacterial recovery. Phagocytic cells were recruited rapidly to the ear following nasal inoculation but over time their numbers did not correlate with persistence of bacterial infection. The study has shown that the composition of bacteria in the nasal cavity and respiratory viral infection significantly affected the OM incidence rate, duration of infection and bacterial load (severity). 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Microbes and Infection: a journal on infectious agents and host defenses