Childhood suppurative otitis media in Abakaliki: Isolated microbes and in vitro antibiotic sensitivity pattern

  • U Nnebe-agumadu
  • O Okike
  • I Orji
  • RC Ibekwe
Keywords: Antibiotics, bacteria, childhood sensitivity, suppurative otitis media


Background: Suppurative otitis media (SOM) is the most common pediatric problem seen by otolaryngologists in Nigeria. Devising simple and effective ways of treating pediatric patients with suppurating ears, especially in situations without a specialist care, will help prevent chronicity. Our experience with SOM at the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH), Abakaliki, is reviewed in this study. It may serve as a guide in patient care.
Objective: Determine the bacteriology of SOM in children in Abakaliki and ascertain their sensitivity to common antibiotics.
Materials and Methods: A 2-year retrospective analysis of ear swabs culture results and case files of children aged 0-18 years with SOM managed in EBSUTH.
Results: Sixty-five patients with discharging ears were reviewed. Of these, 73% were ≤5 years, of which 41.5% were infants. About 83% had unilateral ear discharge. Acute suppuration was seen in 67%. Overall swab yield was 87.7%; Pseudomonas was (57.4%), Klebsiella (16.4%), and Proteus species (11.5%). Ciprofloxacin showed 60% sensitivity, Gentamicin (58%), and Ceftazidime (35%). Amoxicillin/Clavulanic acid, ceftriaxone, and cefuroxime showed sensitivity of 4.3%-9.7%.
Conclusions: Treatment protocols of SOM in children should emphasize the use of Ciprofloxacin or Gentamicin, especially in situations with limited access to laboratory services or specialist care.

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