Conventional external ear swab cultures were compared with cultures obtained from the middle ear, in 25 cases of tubotympanic type (‘safe’), chronic suppurative otitis media. These cultures were identical in 22 of the 25 cases.
Anaerobic organisms were isolated in only one case. Mixed infections of both gram-positive and gramnegative organisms were seen in nine cases (36 per cent).
Staphylococcus aureus was the commonest single agent isolated (16 cases). Multidrug resistance was seen in 12 of these isolates.