MRSA and non-MRSA otorrhea in children: a comparative study of clinical course.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To test the perception that post-tympanostomy tube otorrhea caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a more virulent disease than otorrhea caused by other pathogens by analyzing the clinical differences and disease courses in children diagnosed with otorrhea caused by MRSA bacteria vs non-MRSA bacteria. DESIGN: Retrospective review. SETTING: Tertiary children's hospital. PATIENTS: We retrospectively examined the medical records of children who presented to a tertiary children's hospital from January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2008, with otorrhea that occurred after tympanostomy tube insertion. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Otorrhea culture records were used to group the 1079 patients into those whose otitis media was due to MRSA (n = 170) and those with non-MRSA otitis media (n = 909). From the non-MRSA group, we randomly selected an age-matched group of 170 and examined the differences between the MRSA and age-matched non-MRSA groups in organisms isolated by culture, demographic factors (including type of medical insurance), medical history, treatments, surgical procedures performed, audiometric data, and other admissions for infection-related illnesses. RESULTS: The overall incidence of MRSA in this series was about 16% (170 of 1079 patients). Of the 170 eligible children in each age-matched group, 135 with MRSA otorrhea and 141 with non-MRSA otorrhea had data in every category selected for statistical analysis. The groups did not differ significantly in type of insurance; history of tympanostomy tube placement, cholesteatoma, or prematurity; number or type (minor/major) of surgical procedures performed; or risk of subsequent infection-related diagnoses. More patients in the MRSA group received intravenous antibiotic therapy (11% vs 3.6%; P < .001). CONCLUSION: In this study, a diagnosis of otorrhea due to MRSA did not carry an increased risk for surgical procedures or infection-associated sequelae compared with a diagnosis of non-MRSA otorrhea.
  • Keywords

  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone, Auditory Threshold, Bacterial Infections, Bacteriological Techniques, Child, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Haemophilus Infections, Haemophilus influenzae, Humans, Incidence, Infant, Male, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Middle Ear Ventilation, Otitis Media with Effusion, Otitis Media, Suppurative, Pneumococcal Infections, Postoperative Complications, Pseudomonas Infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Staphylococcal Infections, Surgical Wound Infection
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Alexander NS; Kulbersh BD; Heath CH; Desmond RA; Caron E; Woolley AL; Hill JS; Shirley WP; Wiatrak BJ
  • Start Page

  • 1223
  • End Page

  • 1227
  • Volume

  • 137
  • Issue

  • 12