Formations of Host Fibers and Bacteria in Human Temporal Bones With Otitis Media

Vladimir Tsuprun, Dai Shibata, Michael Paparella, Sebahattin Cureoglu

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HYPOTHESIS: In temporal bones with otitis media, fibrin and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) form a fibrous network with bacteria, which is involved in growth of bacterial clusters/biofilms and chronicity of disease. BACKGROUND: NETs and fibrin are important in host defense against pathogens; however, their role in otitis media is not well understood. METHODS: Eight human temporal bones with serous otitis media, 30 with serous-purulent otitis media, 7 with mucoid otitis media, 23 with mucoid-purulent otitis media (OM), 30 with purulent OM, and 30 with chronic otitis media were selected based on histopathologic findings. Fibrous material with bacteria was detected with hematoxylin-eosin, Gram-Weigert, and propidium iodide stains; and its composition was analyzed with immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Extensive formations of fibrous material with bacteria were observed in 30% of temporal bones with serous-purulent otitis media, 29% with mucoid otitis media, 50% with mucoid-purulent OM, 57% with purulent OM, and 67% of temporal bones with histological evidence of chronic otitis media. Some of these formations showed large bacterial clusters or biofilms. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that fibrous structures were composed of fibrin or NETs. CONCLUSIONS: Formations of fibrous material with bacteria were detected in human temporal bones with different types of otitis media. Inflammatory cells were observed mostly in areas with low presence of fibrous structures. The network of fibrous material seems to prevent clearance of bacteria by phagocytic cells and thus influences growth of bacterial clusters or biofilms. Fibrin and NETs may be important for the recurrences and chronicity of disease, and contribute to clogging of tympanostomy tubes in children.

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Copyright © 2021, Otology & Neurotology, Inc.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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