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January 17, 1996

Bacterial DNA Fragments in Otitis Media With Effusion

Author Affiliations

University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa

JAMA. 1996;275(3):186. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530270026021

To the Editor.  —Dr Post and colleagues1 report the presence of DNA fragments attributable to common nasopharyngeal resident bacteria in the majority of middle ear effusions (MEEs) of children who were going through tympanostomy tube surgery. Those children presumably were being operated on because, as the authors stated, untreated otitis media can cause hearing loss and developmental delays of speech and language and lower IQ scores. When making such justification for tube surgery, Post et al fail to cite the ongoing study of their colleagues at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh led by Paradise. As the data stream in from the largest, most extensive, and most expensive study undertaken to investigate the relationship between otitis media and developmental delay, Feldman et al2 have been reporting for 2 years that "no significant associations exist between language development at age 1 year [also, at age 2 years]... and cumulative durations