Predictive value of an adherence test for acute otitis media

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The predictive value of an in vitro adherence test of the bacteriumStreptococcus pneumoniaefor the development of recurrent otitis media was calculated 5 years after the initial test. Nasopharyngeal cells from 56 children suffering from acute otitis media (AOM) and from healthy children were tested for adherence of a standard pneumococcal type (capsular serotype 6). The average adherence of the bacteria to epithelial cells from the group suffering from AOM was greater than the average adherence in the control group (p< 0.005), both when adherence was counted microscopically and radioactively. Subjects were followed up periodically over a 5-year period. Four out of 5 healthy children who had high mean adherence values experienced AOM during the 5 years, and 1 child classified as AOM-prone was found to be healthy. Based on the retrospective data, the positive predictive value of this test was 98.2%, and the negative predictive value was 90.7%. (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1998;118:400-3.)

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