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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 294-295
 

Bacterial isolates from patients with ear infection


School of Health Technology, Technikon Free State, Bloemfontein - 9300, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
School of Health Technology, Technikon Free State, Bloemfontein - 9300, South Africa



How to cite this article:
Oguntibeju O O. Bacterial isolates from patients with ear infection. Indian J Med Microbiol 2003;21:294-5


How to cite this URL:
Oguntibeju O O. Bacterial isolates from patients with ear infection. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2019 Sep 21];21:294-5. Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2003/21/4/294/8052


Dear Editor,
Research has proved that, ear infection usually results from bacterial, fungal or viral infections and in some cases secondary to other infections for instance respiratory infections. Seventy-five percent of children experiences at least three or more ear infections during the first three years. Although, ear infection is more common in children, adults are also affected.[1] According to Giebink,[2] the important epidemiological risk factors for ear infection include age, sex, race, socio-economic and cultural factors, genetic factors, environmental factors, nutritional factors and poor hygiene. The aim of this study was to identify potential causative agents associated with ear infection especially in an environment where antibiotics are commonly abused.
For this study, ear swabs were collected from 88 patients who reported to the State Hospital, Oyo, Nigeria, for ear infection. The swabs were taken before the commencement of antibiotic treatment so as to prevent antibiotics from affecting the potential growth of the organisms. The external ears were cleaned with sterile swabs soaked in sterile physiological saline prior to collecting the exudates. The exudate from each patient was collected by inserting a sterile swab via an auditory speculum and the samples were taken to the laboratory without delay in processing.
All swab samples were examined by Gram staining technique, inoculated onto blood agar, chocolate agar, MacConkey agar and Sabouraud dextrose agar plates. The blood and chocolate agar plates were incubated in 2-5% carbon-dioxide at 370C in the incubator for 24 hours and extended to 48 hours if there was no bacterial growth within the first 24 hours. MacConkey agar plates were incubated at 370C in the incubator. Sabouraud dextrose agar plates were treated as described elsewhere by Oguntibeju and Fabode.[3]
The bacterial isolates were identified using standard methods.[4] The susceptibility testing of the bacterial isolates were carried out using oxoid diagnostic sensitivity test agar while blood agar with diagnostic sensitivity test agar base was used for the fastidious microorganisms. A colony of the identified bacterial isolate was emulsified in 2 mL of brain heart infusion broth and a loopful of the suspension inoculated onto the sensitivity plate and spread with a sterile loop. The discs containing the different drugs were aseptically placed on the inoculated surface of the medium and incubated at 370C for 24 hours where applicable. The control tests were performed with Staphylococcus aureus (NCTC 6571),  Escherichia More Details coli (NCTC 10418) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (NCTC 10662). The bacterial isolates were categorised as sensitive or resistant with the control method as described by Garrod et al.[5]
The patients recruited for this study were between one year and 30 years of age. Thirty-eight patients (43.2%) were female while 50 (56.8%) were male. Of the 88 samples obtained and processed, 58 (65.9%) yielded bacterial growth while 30 (34.1%) showed no growth. The bacterial isolates and their rates of incidence were: Proteus species 11 (18.9%), Klebsiella species 8 (13.8%),  Escherichia More Details coli 5 (8.6%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa 18 (31%), Staphylococcus aereus 10 (17.2%), Streptococcus pneumoniae 3 (5.2%) and Candida albicans 3 (5.2%). The study showed that P.aeruginosa had the highest prevalence rate (P<0.05). In relation to bacterial infection and sex, there was no significant (P>0.05) difference as there were 31 males against 24 females. The result also demonstrated that ear infection was more common among younger persons than older persons (P<0.05).
With regards to antibiotic sensitivity patterns, Proteus spp. were sensitive to ampicillin (27.3%), cotrimoxazole (36.4%), streptomycin (18.2%), gentamicin (90.9%); Klebsiella spp. were sensitive to ampicilin (50%), colistin (75%), cotrimoxazole (37.5%), streptomycin (25%), gentamicin (100%); E.coli was sensitive to colistin (60%), cotrimoxazole (40%), streptomycin (20%), gentamicin (80%); P.aeruginosa was sensitive to colistin (56.6%), streptomycin (16.7%), gentamicin (88.9%);  S.pneumoniae   was sensitive to ampicillin (66.7%), cotrimoxazole (66.7%), streptomycin (66.7%), gentamicin (100%); while S.aereus was sensitive to ampicillin (50%), colistin (40%), cotrimoxazole (40%), erythromycin (90%), streptomycin (70%), chloramphenicol (30%) and gentamicin (100%). Gentamicin showed the highest degree of sensitivity among the different antibiotic s that were applied. All the bacterial isolates were sensitive to gentamicin. This probably shows the efficacy of this antibiotic and may also mean that the drug may not have been abused by the populace as is common practice where laws are not enforced against the handling of antibiotics by the general populace.
Based on findings from this study, it is therefore recommended that treatment of ear infection is better done when the causative agents as well as the drug sensitivity patterns are known and properly administered. Also, the role of fungi and obligate anaerobes should be studied. This will enhance better treatment and reduce the burden of the infection on the patients and in the long term it may reduce the cost of treatment. 

 ~ References Top

1.Gates GA. Considerations in Otitis Media treatment. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1996;114 (4):525-530.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Giebink GS. (Ed) Infection of the middle and inner ear. (Springeverlag, New York) 1987:64-77.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Oguntibeju OO, Fabode O. Prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (Gonorhoea, Trichomoniasis, Candidiasis, Syphilis) and HIV infection among young adults in Oyo Nigeria. Med Tech SA 2002;16 (1):351-352.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Lennette EH, Balows A, Hansler WJ. Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 3rd Ed, (Am Soc Microbiol, Washington DC) 1980: 399-416.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Garrod LP, Lambert HP, O'Grady. Antibiotic and chemotherapy, 4th ed. (Churchhill Livingstone, London) 1973.  Back to cited text no. 5    
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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
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