Microbial otitis media: Recent advancements in treatment, current challenges and opportunities

Rahul Mittal, James M. Parrish, Manasi Soni, Jeenu Mittal, Kalai Mathee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Otitis media (OM) is a common disease affecting humans, especially paediatric populations. OM refers to inflammation of the middle ear and can be broadly classified into two types, acute and chronic. Bacterial infection is one of the most common causes of OM. Despite the introduction of vaccines, the incidence of OM remains significantly high worldwide. In this minireview article, we discuss the recent treatment modalities for OM, such as suspension gel, transcutaneous immunization, and intranasal and transtympanic drug delivery, including therapies that are currently undergoing clinical trials. We provide an overview of how these recent advancements in therapeutic strategies can facilitate the circumvention of current treatment challenges involving preadolescence soft palate dysfunction, biofilm formation, tympanic membrane (ear drum) barrier and the attainment of efficacious drug concentrations in the middle ear. While traditional first-line immunization strategies are generally not very efficacious against biofilms, new technologies that use transdermal or intranasal drug delivery via chitosan-PsaA nanoparticles have shown promising results in experimental animal models of OM. Sustained drug delivery systems such as penta-block copolymer poloxamer 407-polybutylphosphoester (P407-PBP) or poloxamer 407 (e.g. OTO-201, with the brand name ‘OTIPRIO’) have demonstrated that treatments can be reduced to a single topical application. The emergence of effective new treatment modalities opens up promising new avenues for the treatment of OM that could lead to improved quality of life for many children and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number000810
Pages (from-to)1417-1425
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Otitis media
  • Transcutaneous immunization
  • Transtympanic drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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