Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important bacterial pathogen in the pathophysiology of otitis media. To elucidate the inflammatory responses that occur during pneumococcal otitis media, the kinetics of the biochemical and cytologic middle ear responses to heat-killed encapsulated and nonencapsulated pneumococci were studied in the chinchilla model. Inoculation of the middle ear cavity with at least 106 S pneumoniae cells induced an early, brief vascular response with leakage of small (albumin) followed by larger (α2-macroglobulin) proteins, followed by sustained influx of acute inflammatory cells and lysozyme. The threshold for a sustained lysozyme response was 1,000 times lower for nonencapsulated than for encapsulated pneumococci. These results indicate that nonviable S pneumoniae organisms with an intact envelope initiate the middle ear inflammatory response. Therefore, interventions that enhance the clearance of pneumococcal cells from the middle ear may reduce the inflammatory response and prevent chronic middle ear inflammation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology|
|State||Published - Mar 1991|
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- bacterial cell wall
- otitis media