Comparative evaluation of culture and PCR for the detection and determination of persistence of bacterial strains and DNAs in the Chinchilla laniger model of otitis media.

Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania, USA.
The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology (Impact Factor: 1.05). 07/1998; 107(6):508-13. DOI: 10.1177/000348949810700609
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was designed to determine the persistence of culturable bacteria versus DNA in the presence of a middle ear effusion in a chinchilla model of otitis media. Cohorts of animals were either infected with an ampicillin-resistant Haemophilus influenzae strain or injected with a tripartite inoculum consisting of freeze-thawed Streptococcus pneumoniae; pasteurized Moraxella catarrhalis; and DNA from H influenzae. The H influenzae-infected animals displayed culture positivity and polymerase chain reaction positivity through day 35. In the chinchillas infected with the low-copy number inocula of S pneumoniae, DNA was not detectable after day 1 from the co-inoculated pasteurized M catarrhalis bacteria or the purified H influenzae DNA; however, amplifiable DNA from the live low-copy number bacteria persisted through day 21 even though they were not culture-positive past day 3. These results demonstrate that DNA, and DNA from intact but nonviable bacteria, does not persist in an amplifiable form for more than a day in the presence of an effusion; however, live bacteria, while not culturable, persist in a viable state for weeks.

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