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January 23, 1978

The Increasing Incidence of Ampicillin-Resistant Haemophilus influenzaeA Cause of Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

From the Microbiology Section, Research Foundation of Children's Hospital National Medical Center, and the George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1978;239(4):320-323. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280310052018

Middle ear exudate was obtained by myringotomy or aspiration from 625 suburban children, aged 1 month to 12 years, who had acute otitis media; bacterial pathogens were isolated from 71%. Haemophilus species were isolated from 212 (29%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae from 205 (28%). From 1975 to August 1977, the number of Haemophilus isolates found to be resistant to ampicillin has appreciably increased.

Currently, 8% of all cases of acute otitis media in the Washington, DC, area are due to H influenzae resistant to ampicillin. Thirty-one of 35 patients with resistant H influenzae otitis were treated with an erythromycin/sulfisoxazole combination with an impressive clinical response. Twenty-six of these 31 cases had failed to have H influenzae eradicated by an average of ten days of oral ampicillin in recommended doses.

(JAMA 239:320-323, 1978)