Evaluation of the mouse model for acute otitis media

Carol J. MacArthur, Steven H. Hefeneider, J. Beth Kempton, Sarah K. Parrish, Sharon L. McCoy, Dennis R. Trune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Various animal models have been employed for otitis media research. The mouse has been studied less, in spite of its many advantages. To better understand the suitability of the mouse for studies of otitis media, an evaluation was made of its middle ear inflammatory processes following inoculation with heat-killed Streptococcus pneumoniae (strain 6A), one of the three most common bacteria to cause otitis media in the human. A total of 94 BALB/c mice were injected transtympanically with three concentrations of heat-killed bacteria (104, 106, and 109 organisms per ml) and inflammation evaluated with both histologic examination and auditory brainstem response audiometry. Dose-related measures of the time course of inflammation showed it was maximal at 3 days. PBS-injected control mice also demonstrated some degree of middle ear inflammation. Therefore, inflammation measures from PBS injected mice were used as the threshold above which histologic inflammatory changes would be considered a response to bacteria. These quantitative comparisons of bacterial and PBS inoculations revealed the most significant middle ear measures of inflammation were amount of fluid in the middle ear, tympanic membrane thickness, and number of inflammatory cells. The induction of middle ear inflammation in the mouse demonstrated the applicability of this model for investigations of otitis media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-23
Number of pages12
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Inflammation
  • Middle ear
  • Mouse
  • Otitis media
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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