Comparison of PCR Assay and Culture for Detecting Bacteria in Middle Ear Fluid of Children with Otitis Media with Effusion
Objective; Otitis media is one of the most common causes for visiting children. The aim of the present study was to compare the efficacy of conventional culture and polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) methods in determination of the bacterial pathogen in the middle ear effusion of children with otitis media undergoing myringotomy. Materials & Methods; In a prospective analytical study 49 middle ear fluid samples from 32 children having the age range 2 to 10 years old obtained by myringotomy were included in the study. Statistical analyses were made by using the chi-square method (SPSS version13.0) and p-value of <= 0.05 was accepted as being statistically significant. Results; From 49 middle ear effusions, 12 (24.4%) were serous, 22 (44.9%) mucous and 15 (30.6%) were sero-mucoid. Bacteria were cultured in 12 (24.5%) out of 49 samples and pathogens under investigation were found in 10 (20.4%). PCR was positive for bacteria in 18 (36.7%). Among them non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae was identified in 13 (26.5%) and Streptococcus pneumoniae in 5 (10.2%). Conclusion; The results indicate that PCR assay is more sensitive, less cumbersome and more specific in detection of bacteria in middle ear effusion compared with conventional bacterial culture methods.