Research ArticleAntibiotics

Treatment of otitis media by transtympanic delivery of antibiotics

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Sep 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 356, pp. 356ra120
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf4363

Treatment by the earful

Otitis media, commonly referred to as “ear infection,” is a ubiquitous childhood malady that accounts for many pediatrician visits and antibiotic prescriptions. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get oral antibiotics into small children, and systemic antibiotics can cause the development of resistance and other side effects. To address these problems, Yang et al. developed a hydrogel-based system that permits delivery of antibiotics directly into the ear and demonstrated its effectiveness in a chinchilla model of nontypable Haemophilus influenzae ear infection, a common cause of otitis media. No drug was detected in the animals’ blood, confirming the specificity of this local delivery method.