What are the bacterial causes of myringitis?

Updated: Sep 14, 2020
  • Author: John Schweinfurth, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Determining the cause of the TM inflammation is important to treat both it and the accompanying and subsequent processes of otitis media and external otitis.

Bacterial causes of TM inflammation include the following:

  • Staphylococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus

  • Escherichia coli and Klebsiella species

  • S aureus and Streptococcus epidermidis

  • Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Moraxella catarrhalis (causes of about 70% of cases) - In a pooled analysis of 10 observational studies of children aged 3 months to 5 years with AOM, Van Dyke et al found that severe TM inflammation was more likely to be a presenting symptom in cases that were positive for H influenzae than in those that were positive for S pneumoniae [4]

  • Bacillus fragilis and Peptostreptococcus species

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis, and S aureus

  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae (bullous myringitis)

  • Trichophyton rubrum in the external auditory meatus

  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis

  • Corynebacterium species - A retrospective study of cultures from adult and pediatric patients who presented with purulent and mucopurulent otologic infections found corynebacteria in 24 patients (33.3%), with a significant relationship indicated between Corynebacterium-positive infections and the presence of chronic granular myringitis [5]

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