The role of respiratory syncytial virus and other viral pathogens in acute otitis media

Bruce S. Klein, Fe Reyes Dollete, Robert H. Yolken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


We utilized recently developed enzyme immunoassay techniques to examine the role of selected viruses in the etiology of acute otitis media. Viral pathogens were found in middle ear fluids obtained from 13 (24%) of 53 children with acute otitis media; respiratory syncytial virus accounted for ten of the 13 viral agents identified. In addition, respiratory syncytial viral antigen was found in nasopharyngeal washings obtained from 15 of the 53 children. Seven of these children had RSV identified as the sole middle ear pathogen, whereas six children had otitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae as either the sole middle ear pathogen or in combination with RSV. Similarly, all three children with respiratory infections caused by influenza virus had ear infections caused by bacterial pathogens, either alone or in combination with influenza virus. These findings suggest that, in patients with viral respiratory infection, coexisting acute otitis media may be associated with the recovery of either viruses or bacteria from the middle ear exudates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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