Effect of Water on the Bacterial Flora of Swimmer's Ears.
BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIV PROVO UTAH DEPT OF MICROBIOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
A bacteriological study of the microbial flora in the ear canal of divers and swimmers revealed a direct correlation between the degree of exposure of the ears to water and the type of bacterial flora resident in the ear canal. Each diver began the dive with a gram-positive bacterial flora. This flora was replaced by a primarily gram-negative bacterial population shortly after immersion. Otitis externa occurred in all cases where moisture predisposed such change in microbial flora, i.e., 100 of the divers, 16 of the swimmers and no nonswimmers. No single species of bacteria was isolated from all cases of disease. However, P. aeruginosa was most often associated with otitis externa. Changes in microflora during prolonged water exposure and the effects of a therapeutically-assisted return to normal are described. Author