Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 582–589 | Cite as

Current Knowledge of the Genetics of Otitis Media

  • Lena Hafrén
  • Erna Kentala
  • Elisabet Einarsdottir
  • Juha Kere
  • Petri S. Mattila


Otitis media is one of the most common childhood infections leading to doctor’s visits and a leading cause of antibiotic prescriptions in children. Twin and family studies have confirmed that the predisposition of developing a bacterial middle ear infection is genetically determined. Several case-control studies have been performed to analyze genes involved in inflammatory processes in search of potential associations. Modern genome-wide association approaches that require no prior assumptions of the involvement of a given gene locus in the risk of otitis media are currently being used to identify otitis media genes, and will hopefully give more detailed information on the pathogenesis of childhood otitis media. That information could be used in finding the high-risk patient, in the prevention of the disease, and in the design of new treatments.


Child Cytokines Genetic linkage Genetic association studies Genetic susceptibility Genetic variation Heritability Otitis media Otitis media with effusion Phenotype Polymorphism Risk factors Twin studies Genetics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lena Hafrén
    • 1
  • Erna Kentala
    • 1
  • Elisabet Einarsdottir
    • 2
    • 3
  • Juha Kere
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  • Petri S. Mattila
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyHelsinki University Central Hospital, University of HelsinkiHUSFinland
  2. 2.Department of Medical GeneticsHaartman Institute, University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Research Program for Molecular MedicineUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Folkhälsan Institute of GeneticsHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Department of Biosciences and NutritionKarolinska InstitutetHuddingeSweden

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