Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Ear Infection Health Center

Font Size

Novel Therapy Uses Bacteria to Protect Children From Ear Infections


The premise of the study is that good bacteria can slow down the growth of the bacteria that commonly cause ear infections, thus protecting against future infections.

To support their theory, Roos and her research team performed a study including more than 100 children aged 6 months to 6 years, all prone to ear infections. Children were given antibiotic treatment for 10 days, and then received either a good bacteria solution or placebo solution sprayed into the nose for an additional 10 days. After two months, they were given the same spray for another 10 days.

At three months, investigators found that nearly half of the children who were given the bacteria spray were healthy, compared with about one-fourth of the children who received the placebo spray.

If approved, the spray could have positive implications for both children and parents, according to Kenneth L. Wible, MD, chief of the section of general pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital and Clinic in Kansas City, Mo. "It may mean that some children will be able to avoid unnecessary antibiotic exposure, and we may have a way of dealing with [ear infections] without surgery," he tells WebMD. "It can also mean a lot less suffering, missed days of school, and missed days of work for the parent.

"We prescribe too many antibiotics in this country," Wible says. "But sometimes it's because we have no alternative treatment. One of the nice things about this study is that it offers a treatment that doesn't involve antibiotics."

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, April 2002

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Ear Infection Slideshow
Earache Cold Ear Infection
Side view of child's ear
Syringes and graph illustration
Ear Infections When To Call A Doctor
woman cleaning ear
Ear Infections Medications
Ear Infections Surgery
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Parker Treating Ear Infections
Ear Infections What Happens
Ear Infections Exams And Tests