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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Staph infection in the ear

09/02/2008

Question:

how serious is this? my grandson is 2 yrs. old and has a staph infection in his ear. he has tubes in his ears . . . could this cause the infection?

Answer:

Staphylococcus (Staph) infections are fairly common occurrences in ears - regardless of whether a patient has tubes or not. In children with chronic ear infections, there is often a "chicken or egg" question. Children who need tubes in their ears often have recurrent infections (thus the reason for the tubes in the first place) and staph can be one of those common bacteria in those recurrent ear infections. So in this setting, the child's ear infections probably involved the staph bacteria and the tubes just came afterwards in a non-causal relationship. On the other hand, its a remote possibility that the tubes can become colonized with different bacteria (including staph) and then seed recurrent ear infections.

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Response by:

Daniel   Choo, MD Daniel Choo, MD
Associate Professor and Director, Division of Otology/Neurotology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati