Microbiology of chronic suppurative otitis media at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi: A cross-sectional descriptive study
Background Chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) is still a significant health problem in developing countries. Therefore, it was pertinent to determine the local Malawian microbiology in order to guide adequate treatment, avoid complications, and provide records for future reference.
Aim The study sought to determine the CSOM-causing microorganisms at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, and establish their relationship signs and symptoms, and with the demographic pattern of the study.
Methods This was a hospital-based cross-sectional descriptive study carried out at the ENT outpatient clinic and the Microbiology Department of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.The sample comprised 104 patients with unilateral or bilateral active CSOM, who met the inclusion criteria. All patients were evaluated through a detailed history and clinical examination. Pus samples from draining ears were collected by aspiration with a sterile pipette. The specimens were immediately sent for microbiological analysis. Data were analyzed using SPSS.version 20.
Results The study found that Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus were the most prevalent aerobic bacteria, while Bacteroides spp. and Peptostreptococcus spp. were the commonest anaerobic bacteria causing CSOM. These CSOM-causing microorganisms were predominant among males aged 18 years and below. Some CSOMcausing microorganisms were—significantly more so than the others—
characteristically associated with each of the following clinical features: quantity of pus drainage, mode of onset, otalgia, hearing loss, location of tympanic membrane perforation, and mucosal appearance.