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Could recurrent otitis media predict primary antibody deficiencies in Egyptian children?




Recurrent ear infection is a significant warning sign of primary immunodeficiency diseases.


To estimate the frequency of IgA deficiency among children presenting to the outpatient clinic with recurrent otitis media (ROM > 4 times/year) and identify other possible risk factors of ROM in our community.

Materials and methods

Three hundred children (154 males and 146 females), who presented to the outpatient clinic of Children’s Hospital, Ain Shams University with ROM, were consecutively enrolled in the study over a 1-year period. According to the age of enrollment, children were classified into two groups: group A (1-6 years) and group B (>6-12 years). The demographic features of both groups were evaluated together with assessment of serum IgA level.


Of all patients studied, only two (0.7%) had a low serum IgA level for normal age-reference values. None of the patients had neutropenia or lymphopenia. Iron-deficiency anemia was diagnosed in 76 cases, with higher rates among the patients in group A than group B. All patients received several courses of various empirical broad-spectrum antibiotics, but with either an incomplete course (n = 192) or a poor response (n = 49).


The current study showed a relatively low incidence of IgA deficiency among children with ROM and indicated other environmental risk factors that participated in the occurrence of OM in our community.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tamer A. Yousef MD.

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Conflicts of interest

None declared.

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Reda, S.M., Yousef, T.A., Elfeky, R.A. et al. Could recurrent otitis media predict primary antibody deficiencies in Egyptian children?. Egypt J Otolaryngol 30, 82–87 (2014).

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  • children
  • immunoglobulin A deficiency
  • recurrent otitis media