Given the recent statement from the UK Prime Minister on this issue, it would appear timely to assess the ‘time bomb’ of antibiotic resistance in otology. Comparison of ear swabs over twelve months from 2007 and 2012 demonstrates an increasing level of resistance: 6.5% gentamycin resistance amongst staphylococcus in 2012 (in comparison to 0% in 2007) while a similar increase in resistant pseudomonas was also demonstrated. The authors sensibly question the use of antibiotic alternatives (such as aluminium hydroxide) as an alternative. Given that it has been twenty-five years since the last ‘new’ topical antibiotic for the ear, it is wise we work closely with microbiology colleagues to ensure adequate treatment of the discharging ear.

An analysis of emerging antimicrobial resistance in an ENT outpatient department: a comparison of three hundred and forty-nine swabs taken in 2007 with five hundred and seventy-four swabs in 2012.
Prowse SJ, Marsh P, Raine CH.
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Andy Hall

FRCS (ORL-HNS), North Thames, ST7 Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK.

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