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March 1972

A Model for the Study of Infectious Otitis Externa

Author Affiliations

Provo, Utah; Edmonton, Alberta
From the Department of Microbiology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (Dr. Wright), and the Department of Microbiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta (Mrs. Dineen).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1972;95(3):243-247. doi:10.1001/archotol.1972.00770080385011

The guinea pig was found to be a useful experimental model for the study of otitis externa. Infection of the external ear canal could be induced by methods which would result in human disease. The clinical appearance of the diseased ear canal was similar to that in man. Prolonged exposure to water resulted in a shift from gram-positive normal bacterial flora to abnormal gram-negative flora and in disease. Data presented suggest that the presence of a normal bacterial flora is of significance in reducing the incidence of otitis externa. Removal of ear canal lipids did not result in disease, although this procedure predisposed the ear to infection following contamination. The data support the concept of a multiplex etiology for otitis externa.

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