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May 1974

The Immunochemistry of Middle Ear Effusions

Author Affiliations

Buffalo, NY; Rochester, Minn; Buffalo, NY
From the departments of otolaryngology (Dr. Bernstein) and pediatrics (Dr. Ogra), State University of New York at Buffalo, and the Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn (Dr. Tomasi).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;99(5):320-326. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780030332002

Middle ear secretions and biopsy specimens of middle ear mucosa from 50 patients with secretory otitis media were examined for distribution of major classes of immunoglobulins, immunologic localization of immunocompetent lymphoid cells, and presence and nature of antibody activity against mumps, measles, rubella, and poliomyelitis virus.

Appreciable amounts of secretory component and γG, 7SγA, and Ils secretory γA immunoglobulin were regularly found in the ear fluids. Specific antibody activity in the middle ear fluid against the viruses listed was essentially limited to γA immunoglobulin, although such activity in the serum was predominantly associated with γG immunoglobulin. These data suggest the existence of a distinct secretory immune system in the middle ear. The implications of these observations may be applicable to the mechanism of protection or pathogenesis of microbial infections in the middle ear.

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