Halophilic vibrios are distinct from non-cholera vibrios and have been recognized increasingly as potentially pathogenic bacteria in extraintestinal infections. A case of suppurative chronic otitis media in a Greek diver with Vibrio alginolyticus recovered from an ear drainage culture, is reported. The patient received appropriate antimicrobial therapy and her hearing improved significantly after a tympanoplasty type I was performed.
The association of halophilic Vibrio spp. infections with prolonged seawater contact, particularly in subtropical climates, is discussed. In swimmers with extensive exposure to salt water, individual preventive measures and aetiological treatment of ear infections seems to be required in order to reduce the severity of possible Vibrio spp. ear infections.