Otitis externa is a common condition in the tropics. Most of the data related to the condition have arisen from Western sources. Locally, the aetiology and the pathogens identified have not been systematically studied. A prospective study involving 107 patients was conducted. Otomycosis was frequently encountered. Coagulase negative Staphylococcus and Aspergillus niger were the most common bacteria and fungus cultured respectively. Gentamicin and polymyxin B were the most effective topical agents against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Self-cleaning of the ears was the most common predisposing factor.
Although otitis externa is a common otological condition, the literature pertaining to it is sparse in contrast to the vast amounts of articles that have been published on otitis media. Indeed, the exact pathogens involved in the local community have not been documented.
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