Objectives: To isolate and characterize bacteria and fungi from the healthy ear and to obtain susceptibility profiles on each bacterial isolate. Study Design: Prospective. Methods: Specimens were collected from the external canals and cerumen of healthy subjects. Species-level identification was obtained by combining phenotypic and genotypic data. End-point minimal inhibitory concentration testing was performed using National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards recommended methods. Results: One hundred sixty-four subjects were cultured. Seventeen canal and 16 cerumen specimens showed no growth. One hundred forty eight cerumen specimens yielded 314 organisms, including 23 fungi. One hundred forty-seven canal specimens yielded 310 organisms, including 7 fungi. Of 291 bacteria isolated from cerumen, 99% were Gram-positive. Of 302 bacteria isolated from the canal, 96% were Gram-positive. Staphylococci were 63% of both the cerumen bacteria and the canal bacteria. Coryneforms represented 22% of the bacteria in cerumen and 19% in the canal. Turicella otitidis was the primary coryneform isolated from both the canal and the cerumen. Streptococci-like bacteria were 10% from the cerumen, 7% from the canal. In both cerumen and canal, Alloiococcus otitis was more than 95% of the streptococci-like bacteria. Fifteen gram-negative organisms were isolated from the canal and cerumen, including four Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. The percentages of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates that had high-level resistance (>8 μg/mL) were as follows: to neomycin, 28% from cerumen and 11% from the canal; to oxacillin, 28% from cerumen and 25% from the canal; and to ofloxacin, 15% from cerumen and 19% from the canal. Conclusions: Turcella otitidis and A. otitidis were present with a much higher frequency than previously described, lending evidence that they be considered normal otic flora. Corynebacterium auris, previously reported only in children, was isolated from normal adults.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Issue number||11 I|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
- External canal
- Healthy ear
ASJC Scopus subject areas