Author Interviews, HPV, Vaccine Studies / 01.10.2021 Interview with: Holly Frost, MD Assistant Professor Pediatrics University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine Thersia Sebastian, MD Pediatrics, Denver Health What is the background for this study? Response: Among children with acute otitis media (AOM) S.pneumoniae, H.influenzae, and M.catarrhalis are the predominant bacterial otopathogens. Historically, the gold standard for diagnosing otopathogens has been through middle ear fluid (MEF) culture. The challenge with MEF culture is that it is time-consuming and requires expert training often only done by specialists, thereby limiting its diagnostic utility to guide routine clinical care. Recent studies have shown that there is a high correlation between nasopharyngeal (NP) and MEF organisms during AOM. It is easier to collect NP swabs and less training is required. Thus, NP samples could serve as a surrogate for detection of otopathogens, potentially making identification of otopathogens practical and feasible in a typical practice environment compared to a MEF collection. Identification of otopathogens could be critical in treatment management of AOM, especially in the era of antimicrobial stewardship efforts to overall reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. Our goal was to compare the sensitivity and specificity of NP PCR to NP culture for common bacteria that cause ear infections.  (more…)