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Live bacteria in more than 90% of middle ear effusions

Live bacteria are present in more than 90% of middle ear effusions, research shows.

The present study strongly suggests bacteria and biofilms are important in the pathogenesis of otitis media with effusion (OME), according to Roger Bayston (University of Nottingham, UK) and colleagues.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, could also have clinical implications, say the researchers, as current treatment of OME involves drainage of the effusion and ventilation tube insertion.

This does not address the persistent bacterial infection, and "serves to merely remove the effusion that is the result of a middle ear inflammation," they state.

OME, also known as glue ear, a common cause of deafness in children, is characterized by the absence of symptoms and acute inflammation.

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