Prevention of acute otitis media using currently available vaccines

Nicola Principi, Elena Baggi, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acute otitis media (AOM) is common in infants and children. Although approximately two-thirds of cases are due to bacteria, almost all of the episodes are preceded by upper respiratory viral infection. Several viruses, among which respiratory syncytial virus is the most common, are involved in the determination of AOM. However, a significant number of AOM cases are associated with influenza infection, and influenza viruses are among the most frequently found respiratory viruses in the middle ear fluid during an acute episode of AOM. Consequently, influenza vaccination may have a favorable impact on the incidence and course of AOM. Moreover, as Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the leading AOM bacterial pathogens and it is well known that influenza virus infection predisposes to pneumococcal infection, there is a further reason to suggest the use of influenza vaccine to reduce the risk of AOM. On the other hand, the administration of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is considered per se a possible means of reducing the incidence of the disease. However, although a number of studies have measured the impact of both vaccines on AOM, it is still not known whether (and to what extent) they are really effective, nor what impact the more recently licensed vaccines may have. The aim of this review is to examine the clinical impact of vaccinations on AOM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-465
Number of pages9
JournalFuture Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • acute otitis media
  • children
  • influenza
  • influenza vaccine
  • pediatrics
  • pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
  • prevention
  • respiratory bacteria
  • respiratory virus
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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