Effect of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Influenza A Virus on Middle Ear Antimicrobial Pharmacokinetics in Experimental Otitis Media

Gregg H. Jossart, Daniel M. Canafax, Gary R. Erdmann, Michael J. Lovdahl, Henry Q. Russlie, Steven S Juhn, G. Scott Giebink

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22 Scopus citations


Antimicrobial treatment failures in children with acute otitis media and concomitant viral respiratory tract infection prompted us to study the effects of influenza A virus infection on middle ear antimicrobial drug penetration. Using a chinchilla model of Streptococcus pneumoniae we compared middle ear elimination rates in 4 groups of chinchillas: (1) control, (2) influenza A virus inoculation alone intranasally, (3) both influenza A and S. pneumoniae inoculation directly into the middle ear, and (4) S. pneumoniae inoculation alone into the middle ear. After infection was established, a solution containing amoxicillin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim was instilled into the middle ear and removed 4 hours later. The rate constant of elimination and half-life were calculated from measured drug concentrations initially and at 4 hours. S. pneumoniae infection alone significantly shortened the middle ear elimination half-life compared with the control group: amoxicillin, 2.65 ± 0.73 vs. 6.63 ±  2.55 hr; sulfamethoxazole, 1.75 ± 0.28 vs. 2.74 ± 0.6 hr; and trimethoprim, 1.06 ±  0.14 vs. 1.56 ± 0.34 hr (n = 16 ears, p values all <0.01). The combined influenza virus and S. pneumoniae infection significantly lengthened the half-life compared with the S. pneumoniae infection alone: amoxicillin, 5.65 ± 6.44 vs. 2.65 ± 0.73 hr; sulfamethoxazole, 2.5 ± 0.85 vs. 1.75 ± 0.28 hr; and trimethoprim, 1.26 ± 0.42 vs. 1.06 ± 0.14 hr (n = 16 ears, p values all <0.01). Influenza virus produced the longest half-lives for all 3 antimicrobials: amoxicillin 25.52 ± 14.96 hr; sulfamethoxazole, 5.46 ± 0.87 hr; and trimethoprim, 2.57 ± 0.75 hr. These effects demonstrate that influenza and S. pneumoniae infections alone and together affect middle ear antimicrobial penetration. The decreased penetration of antimicrobials that occurred with the combined viral and bacterial infection vs. the bacteria alone supports the clinical observation that patients with infections caused by both organisms may have decreased middle ear antimicrobial concentrations, producing treatment failures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-864
Number of pages5
JournalPharmaceutical Research: An Official Journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • amoxicillin
  • influenza A virus
  • otitis media
  • pharmacokinetics
  • sulfamethoxazole
  • trimethoprim


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