Ear Infections Decreasing in Babies Due to Breastfeeding and Vaccines

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Tasnee Chonmaitree, M.D. Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Department of Pediatrics University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX 77555-0371

Dr. Tasnee Chonmaitree

Tasnee Chonmaitree, M.D.
Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Department of Pediatrics
University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX 77555-0371

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Chonmaitree: Respiratory infections are common in infants and young children; they are caused by viruses and/or bacteria. Viral upper respiratory tract infection or the common cold is exceedingly common and leads to bacterial complications such as ear infection, which the leading cause of antibiotic prescription in the US and the most common reason children undergo surgery (ear tube placement). In the past few decades, some bacterial and viral vaccines have become available aiming to reduce respiratory infections in children.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Chonmaitree: Our study looked to update information on how often infants in the first year of life acquired the common cold, and ear infection in the new vaccine era. The study was performed between 2009 and 2014 and included 367 infants followed closely from near birth up to one year of age. We found that on average, an infant had about 3 colds in the first year of life, and almost half of infants had ear infection by age 1 year. This was less than what happened in the past few decades. The reduction of ear infection may have been the result of many factors from bacterial and viral vaccine use, to increased breastfeeding rate and reduction in household smoking. Risk factors for ear infection included carriage of bacteria in the nose, frequencies of common cold and lack of breastfeeding.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Chonmaitree: The take home message is that medical progress in the last few decades had helped reduce the incidence of this childhood infection.

Parents should make sure their infants received bacterial and flu vaccines as recommended, breastfeed them as recommended by the AAP, avoid cigarette smoke exposure, and exposure to someone with the common cold. In ear infection-prone children, avoid crowding condition (e.g. daycare) if they can help it; if not chose smaller daycare or home day care to reduce infection exposure from other children. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Chonmaitree: Further study of specific bacterial and viral interactions may help identify future important intervention, in order to prevent ear infection further. 

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Chonmaitree, R. Trujillo, K. Jennings, P. Alvarez-Fernandez, J. A. Patel, M. J. Loeffelholz, J. Nokso-Koivisto, R. Matalon, R. B. Pyles, A. L. Miller, D. P. McCormick. Acute Otitis Media and Other Complications of Viral Respiratory Infection. PEDIATRICS, 2016; 137 (4): peds.2015-3555 DOI:10.1542/peds.2015-3555

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More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com

Tasnee Chonmaitree, M.D. (2016). Ear Infections Decreasing in Babies Due to Breastfeeding and Vaccines MedicalResearch.com

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