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Otitis Media

Article Reference Recent advances in otitis media.
Otitis media (OM) is a pervasive illness in infants and children, and many children suffer multiple episodes during the first years of life. High rates of acute otitis media (AOM) are reported in developed and emerging countries. Early onset is common in both settings. Recurrent OM is associated with several factors, including early onset of disease, having a sibling with a history of AOM and absence of breast-feeding. Early onset disease has been hypothesized to result from Eustachian tube dysfunction, immunologic naivete and immaturity, and viral upper respiratory tract infection. Nasopharyngeal colonization with bacterial otopathogens increases the likelihood of AOM and the disease is most frequent in children with viral respiratory tract infection colonized with multiple otopathogens (Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae [NTHi], Moraxella catarrhalis), potentially as a result of inflammation resulting from competition among the bacterial species within the nasopharynx. Epidemiologic observations and studies of pathogenesis suggest that successful strategies for reducing the burden of disease will be best accomplished by targeting multiple viral and/or bacterial pathogens and preventing early onset disease. Guidelines (2004) for the treatment of AOM in children establish a clear hierarchy among the various antibacterials for the treatment of this disease. Failure to achieve early bacterial eradication during antibiotic therapy for AOM increases the clinical failure rates in AOM in young children. Most recurrent AOM episodes occurring within 1 month after successful completion of antibiotic therapy are due to new otopathogens. Failure to eradicate middle ear and/or nasopharyngeal pathogens is associated with higher rates of clinical recurrent AOM, even when the patients show clinical improvement or cure at the end of therapy for the initial episode. Optimal strategy for the prevention of AOM recurrences requires sterilization of the middle ear and eradication of nasopharyngeal carriage of otopathogens during antimicrobial therapy.
Article Reference Microbial interactions in the respiratory tract.
Upper respiratory tract infections are caused by the synergistic and antagonistic interactions between upper respiratory tract viruses and 3 predominant bacterial pathogens: Streptococcus pneumoniae, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), and Moraxella catarrhalis, which are members of the commensal flora of the nasopharynx. For many bacterial pathogens, colonization of host mucosal surfaces is a first and necessary step in the infectious process. S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae have intricate interactions in the nasopharynx. The host innate immune response may influence these interactions and therefore influence the composition of the colonizing flora and the invading bacteria. S. pneumoniae, nontypeable H. influenzae, and M. catarrhalis can behave as opportunistic pathogens of the middle ear when conditions are optimal. Chronic otitis media (OM) and recurrent OM include a biofilm component. Each of the 3 predominant pathogens of OM can form a biofilm and have been shown to comprise biofilms present on middle ear mucosa specimens recovered from children with recurrent or chronic OM. Some of these characterized biofilms are of mixed bacterial etiology, suggesting that progress made on single-microbe directed strategies for treatment and/or prevention of OM, although highly encouraging, are likely to be inadequate. A significantly greater understanding about microbial physiology is required as it relates to the involvement of biofilms in OM, to identify points in the natural course of the disease that are perhaps more amenable to treatment strategies, as well as to identify biofilm-relevant antigenic targets that would be helpful in the rational design of vaccines to prevent OM.
Article Reference New patterns in the otopathogens causing acute otitis media six to eight years after introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
To describe NP and AOM otopathogens during the time frame 2007 to 2009, 6 to 8 years after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate (PCV7) in the United States and to compare nasopharyngeal (NP) colonization and acute otitis media (AOM) microbiology in children 6 to 36 months of age having first and second AOM episodes with children who are otitis prone.
Article Reference Modeling the impact of a new vaccine on pneumococcal and nontypable Haemophilus influenzae diseases: a new simulation model.
A heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) is available to immunize infants against pneumococcal disease. However, a recently developed vaccine, pneumococcal nontypable Haemophilus influenzae protein D-conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV), has recently been licensed. PHiD-CV contains 3 additional Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes and may provide protection against nontypable H influenzae (NTHi) infection. New health economic models are required to model the impact of PHiD-CV and compare its effectiveness with PCV-7.
Article Reference Otitis media: viruses, bacteria, biofilms and vaccines.
Otitis media typically presents as either acute otitis media (AOM), with symptoms including fever, otalgia, otorrhoea or irritability and short duration; or as otitis media with effusion (OME), which is often asymptomatic and characterised by accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. Diagnostic certainty of otitis media is challenging, given the young age of patients and variability of symptoms. Otitis media predominantly occurs as coincident to viral upper respiratory tract infections and/or bacterial infections. Common viruses that cause upper respiratory tract infection are frequently associated with AOM and new-onset OME. These include respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza and coronavirus. Predominant bacteria that cause otitis media are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae. Antibiotic therapy does not significantly benefit most patients with AOM, but long-term prophylactic antibiotic therapy can reduce the risk of otitis media recurrence among children at high risk. In Australia, 84% of AOM is treated with antibiotic therapy, which contributes to development of antibiotic resistance. Vaccine development is a key future direction for reducing the world burden of otitis media, but requires polymicrobial formulation and ongoing monitoring and modification to ensure sustained reduction in disease burden.
Article Reference Effect of lipooligosaccharide mutations of Haemophilus influenzae on the middle and inner ears.
The purpose of this study was to determine the virulence of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae 2019 (NTHi 2019) and its two lipooligosaccharide (LOS) mutant strains, B29 (gene htrB) and DK1 (gene rfaD), and compare their effect on the middle ear, round window membrane, and inner ear.
Article Reference Protection against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae challenges by mucosal vaccination with a detoxified lipooligosaccharide conjugate in two chinchilla models.
Otitis media (OM) can occur following outset of upper respiratory tract infections. Inhibition of bacterial colonization in nasopharynx (NP) by mucosal vaccination may prevent OM by reducing bacterial invasion of the middle ears (MEs). In this study, 80 chinchillas were intranasally (i.n.) immunized with a detoxified lipooligosaccharide (dLOS)-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) mixed with cholera toxin (CT) or CT alone. All vaccinated animals responded with elevated levels of mucosal and serum anti-LOS antibodies. Two weeks after the last immunization, 40 chinchillas were challenged i.n. with NTHi to evaluate NP colonization and ME infection while the rest of the animals were challenged transbullarly (T.B.) to examine the development of OM. Compared to the control group, the vaccination inhibited not only bacterial colonization in NP and transmission to MEs in the i.n. challenge group but also bacterial colonization in NP and transmission to unchallenged ears in the T.B. challenge group. Though no difference was found in the challenged ears of either group right after the T.B. challenge, an early clearance of NTHi from NP and unchallenged ears as well as less severity of OM in the unchallenged ears were observed in vaccinated animals. Current results along with our previous data indicate that mucosal vaccination is capable of inhibiting NTHi NP colonization and preventing OM occurrence in chinchillas; the i.n. challenge model is preferable for testing the mucosal vaccines while the T.B. challenge model is superior for testing the systemic vaccines.
Article Reference The role of Toll-like receptor 4 in eliciting acquired immune responses against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae following intranasal immunization with outer membrane protein.
Acute otitis media (AOM) is one of the most common infectious diseases in children. Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is considered a major pathogen in AOM. Current treatment options depend mainly on the use of antibiotics, thus developing vaccines to prevent this disease is an urgent goal for public health. Outer membrane proteins (OMPs) are promising candidate targets for vaccination against NTHi.
Article Reference Prevention of otitis media: now a reality?
Acute otitis media (AOM), one of the most common childhood diseases, is associated with a substantial medical, social and economic burden. Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and Streptococcus pneumoniae are the two main causes of bacterial OM. The 7-valent pneumococcal CRM(197)-conjugate vaccine (7vCRM, Prevnar/Prevenar, Wyeth) demonstrated efficacy against AOM caused by vaccine pneumococcal serotypes. Protection against overall AOM was also observed with an 11-valent pneumococcal protein D-conjugate vaccine (11Pn-PD) in the Pneumococcal Otitis Efficacy Trial (POET). Following POET, an optimized 10-valent pneumococcal non-typeable H. influenzae protein D-conjugate vaccine (PHiD-CV; Synflorix, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals) was developed. This vaccine includes serotypes 1, 5, and 7F, in addition to those already included in 7vCRM, and was recently licensed in Europe for active immunization against invasive disease and AOM caused by S. pneumoniae in infants and children from 6 weeks up to 2 years of age. The use of protein D as carrier protein permits avoidance of possible interferences known to occur with some conjugate vaccines, and has the added potential benefit of providing protection against NTHi. This review seeks to highlight the recent advances in the field of OM vaccination, with a focus on data regarding the recently licensed PHiD-CV.
Article Reference The toll-Like receptor adaptor TRIF contributes to otitis media pathogenesis and recovery.
Toll-like receptor (TLR) signalling is crucial for innate immune responses to infection. The involvement of TLRs in otitis media (OM), the most prevalent childhood disease in developed countries, has been implicated by studies in middle ear cell lines, by association studies of TLR-related gene polymorphisms, and by altered OM in mice bearing mutations in TLR genes. Activated TLRs signal via two alternative intracellular signaling molecules with differing effects; MyD88 (Myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88) inducing primarily interleukin expression and TRIF (Tir-domain-containing adaptor inducing interferon beta) mediating type I interferon (IFN) expression. We tested the hypothesis that TRIF and type I IFN signaling play a role in OM, using a murine model of OM induced by non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). The ME inflammatory response to NTHi was examined in wild-type (WT) and TRIF-/- mice by qPCR, gene microarray, histopathology and bacterial culture.
Article Reference TLR4-mediated induction of TLR2 signaling is critical in the pathogenesis and resolution of otitis media.
Otitis media is the most prevalent childhood disease in developed countries. The involvement of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in otitis media pathophysiology has been implicated by studies in cell lines and association studies of TLR gene polymorphisms. However, precise functions of TLRs in the etiology of otitis media in vivo have not been examined. We investigated the inflammatory response to nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae using a model of otitis media in wild-type, TLR2(- /-) and TLR4(-/ -) mice by gene microarray, qPCR, immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis and histopathology. Toll-like receptor-2(- /-) and TLR4(- /-) mice exhibited a more profound, persistent inflammation with impaired bacterial clearance compared to controls. While wild-type mice induced tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF) after non-typeable H. influenzae challenge, TLR2(-/-) and TLR4(-/-) mice lack TNF induction in the early phase of otitis media. Moreover, lack of TLR2 resulted in a late increase in IL-10 expression and prolonged failure to clear bacteria. Toll-like receptor-4(-/- ) mice showed impaired early bacterial clearance and loss of TLR2 induction in early otitis media. Our results demonstrate that both TLR2 and TLR4 signalling are critical to the regulation of infection in non-typeable H. influenzae-induced otitis media. Toll-like receptor-4 signalling appears to induce TLR2 expression, and TLR2 activation is critical for bacterial clearance and timely resolution of otitis media.
Article Reference Breast-feeding is associated with a reduced frequency of acute otitis media and high serum antibody levels against NTHi and outer membrane protein vaccine antigen candidate P6.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) causes acute otitis media (AOM) in infants. Breast-feeding protects against AOM and/or nasopharyngeal (NP) colonization; however, the mechanism of protection is incompletely understood. Children with AOM and healthy children were studied according to feeding status: breastfed,breast/formula fed, or formula fed. Cumulative episodes of AOM, ELISA titers of serum IgG antibodies to whole-cell NTHi and vaccine candidate outer membrane protein P6, bactericidal titers of serum and NP colonization by NTHi were assessed. A lower incidence of AOM was found in breast- versus formula-fed children. Levels of specific serum IgG antibody to NTHi and P6 were highest in breast-fed, intermediate in breast/formula fed, and lowest in formula-fed infants. Serum IgG antibody to P6 correlated with bactericidal activity against NTHi. Among children with AOM, the prevalence of NTHi in the NP was lower in breast- versus nonbreast-fed infants. We conclude that breast-feeding shows an association with higher levels of antibodies to NTHi and P6, suggesting that breast-feeding modulates the serum immune response to NTHi and P6. Higher serum IgG might facilitate protection against AOM and NP colonization in breast-fed children.
Article Reference LuxS promotes biofilm maturation and persistence of nontypeable haemophilus influenzae in vivo via modulation of lipooligosaccharides on the bacterial surface.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) is an extremely common airway commensal which can cause opportunistic infections that are usually localized to airway mucosal surfaces. During many of these infections, NTHI forms biofilm communities that promote persistence in vivo. For many bacterial species, density-dependent quorum-signaling networks can affect biofilm formation and/or maturation. Mutation of luxS, a determinant of the autoinducer 2 (AI-2) quorum signal pathway, increases NTHI virulence in the chinchilla model for otitis media infections. For example, bacterial counts in middle-ear fluids and the severity of the host inflammatory response were increased in luxS mutants compared with parental strains. As these phenotypes are consistent with those that we have observed for biofilm-defective NTHI mutants, we hypothesized that luxS may affect NTHI biofilms. A luxS mutant was generated using the well-characterized NTHI 86-028NP strain and tested to determine the effects of the mutation on biofilm phenotypes in vitro and bacterial persistence and disease severity during experimental otitis media. Quantitation of the biofilm structure by confocal microscopy and COMSTAT analysis revealed significantly reduced biomass for NTHI 86-028NP luxS biofilms, which was restored by a soluble mediator in NTHI 86-028NP supernatants. Analysis of lipooligosaccharide moieties using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting showed decreased levels of biofilm-associated glycoforms in the NTHI 86-028NP luxS strain. Infection studies showed that NTHI 86-028NP luxS had a significant persistence defect in vivo during chronic otitis media infection. Based on these data, we concluded that a luxS-dependent soluble mediator modulates the composition of the NTHI lipooligosaccharides, resulting in effects on biofilm maturation and bacterial persistence in vivo.
Article Reference Potential contribution by nontypable Haemophilus influenzae in protracted and recurrent acute otitis media.
Characterization of acute otitis media (AOM) caused by nontypable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is important, particularly in view of the efforts to develop vaccines against NTHi. To characterize NTHi AOM a large database of culture-positive AOM cases was analyzed.
Article Reference The incidence of Streptococcus pneumoniae otitis media is affected by the polymicrobial environment particularly Moraxella catarrhalis in a mouse nasal colonisation model.
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).
Article Reference Otitis media: prospects for prevention.
Alternatives to vaccination for preventing the considerable morbidity of otitis media (OM) are limited. Non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) and Streptococcus pneumoniae together account for approximately 80% of OM cases worldwide, so vaccines against these most serious pathogens should materially reduce the burden of OM. Early trial data for a vaccine prototype including NTHi and 11 pneumococcal serotypes, interpreted carefully in relation to other trials, suggest that OM can now be considered a vaccine-preventable disease. Despite differences of scenario according to healthcare and bacteriology circumstances of different countries, a provisional analysis of health-economic precedents and policy considerations favours vaccination.
Article Reference Gene expression differences in infected and noninfected middle ear complementary DNA libraries.
To investigate genetic differences in middle ear mucosa (MEM) with nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) infection. Genetic upregulation and downregulation occurs in MEM during otitis media (OM) pathogenesis. A comprehensive assessment of these genetic differences using the techniques of complementary DNA (cDNA) library creation has not been performed.
Article Reference Formation of biofilm by Haemophilus influenzae isolated from pediatric intractable otitis media.
The aims of this study are to evaluate biofilm formation by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) isolated from children with acute otitis media (AOM) and its relation with clinical outcome of the disease.
Article Reference Survival of bacterial biofilms within neutrophil extracellular traps promotes nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae persistence in the chinchilla model for otitis media.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a leading cause of acute and chronic otitis media, which are a major public health problem worldwide. The persistence of NTHi during chronic and recurrent otitis media infections involves multicellular biofilm communities formed within the middle-ear chamber. Bacterial biofilms resist immune clearance and antibiotic therapy due in part to encasement within a polymeric matrix. In this study, the contribution of biofilms to bacterial persistence in vivo and composition of the NTHi biofilm matrix during experimental otitis media were investigated. The presence of biofilms within the chinchilla middle-ear chamber was significantly correlated with increased bacterial load in middle-ear effusions and tissue. Examination of thin sections revealed polymorphonuclear cells within a DNA lattice containing elastase and histones, which is consistent with the definition of neutrophil extracellular traps. Viable multicellular biofilm communities with biofilm phenotypes were found within the DNA lattice throughout the biofilm. Further, NTHi was resistant to both phagocytic and extracellular neutrophil killing in vitro by means of lipooligosaccharide moieties that promote biofilm formation. These data support the conclusion that NTHi subverts neutrophil extracellular traps to persist in vivo. These data also indicate that a more inclusive definition for biofilms may be warranted.
Article Reference Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae as a pathogen in children.
Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae is a significant pathogen in children, causing otitis media, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, pneumonia, and occasionally invasive infections. H. influenzae type b conjugate vaccines have no effect on infections caused by nontypeable strains because nontypeable strains are nonencapsulated. Approximately, one-third of episodes of otitis media are caused by nontypeable H. influenzae and the bacterium is the most common cause of recurrent otitis media. Recent progress in elucidating molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, understanding the role of biofilms in otitis media and an increasing understanding of immune responses have potential for development of novel strategies to improve prevention and treatment of otitis media caused by nontypeable H. influenzae. Feasibility of vaccination for prevention of otitis media due to nontypeable H. influenzae was recently demonstrated in a clinical trial with a vaccine that included the surface virulence factor, protein D.