Otomycosis in a Rural Community Attending a Tertiary Care Hospital: Assessment of Risk Factors and Identification of Fungal and Bacterial Agents DC14-DC18
Dr. Priti Agarwal,
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, SGT University, Budhera, Gurgaon, Haryana, India.
Introduction: Otomycosis is one of the frequently encountered fungal infections of external auditory canal, commonly seen in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Various host (local, systemic) and environmental factors can predispose a person to otomycosis. Although clinical presentations along with otoscopic findings of the patients are well suggestive of fungal infection, proper identification of causative agents is mandatory in order to prevent recurrences and complications.
Aim: To define the aetiology of clinically diagnosed otomycosis in rural population, to derive association of risk factors with otomycosis, to isolate and identify fungal and bacterial agents and to analyze the association between them.
Materials and Methods: A prospective study was conducted in the Department of Microbiology and Department of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), SGT hospital over eight months period. A total of 350 consecutive patients of more than five years of age with clinical diagnosis of otomycosis were included in the study. Demographic profile, predisposing factors, presenting complaints and clinical findings of clinically diagnosed patients were evaluated and analyzed. Samples were collected, transported and evaluated by both direct examination and culture method for bacteriological and mycological examination.
Results: Male to female ratio in study participants was 1.3:1. Mycological examination yielded 346 fungal isolates in 310 samples from a total of 350 clinically diagnosed cases of otomycosis. Self cleaning, instillation of mustard oil and use of ear drops appeared to be common predisposing factors in otomycosis. Significant association was observed between these practices and otomycosis. Aspergillus species was the predominant fungi followed by Candida spp., Penicillium, Mucor and Trichophyton mentagrophyte. 11% of the cases were found to have mixed fungal and bacterial infections.
Conclusion: The present study highlights the highest isolation of Aspergillus complex in cases of clinically diagnosed otomycosis in a rural community with higher practice of self cleaning and using home remedies and eardrops to get relief from sensation of blocked ear and itching.