Otomycosis: a clinical and mycological study


  • T. Dinesh Singh Department of ENT, Mallareddy Institute of Medical Sciences, Suraram, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
  • C. P. Sudheer Department of ENT, MNR Medical College and Hospital, Sangareddy, Telangana, India




Otomycosis, Ear, Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, Clotrimazole


Background: The term otomycosis is used to describe fungal infection of ear i.e. external auditory canal, eardrum. This condition appears as a primary infection or develops along with external bacterial infections as a results of antibiotic therapy. This study was designed to determine the clinical symptoms and fungal flora of otomycosis cases.

Methods: A total 100 (53% males, 47% females) clinically diagnosed otomycosis cases between 06-70 years were included. The external auditory meatus debris was collected by sterile swabs and sent to the microbial laboratory investigations.  

Results: Highest prevalence was seen in the age group 21-30 years. Itching in the ear was commonest symptom in 89%, followed by ear ache. Positive fungal growth was seen in 94% cases. Aspergillus was the common isolate in 63% cases, followed by Aspergillus niger with Candida albicans (10%), penicillium in 4% cases and Candida in 3% cases. Coagulase negative Staphylococcus was seen in 32% cases, followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (12%), Staphylococcus aureus (16%), E. coli (11%).

Conclusions: The genus most commonly involved in otomycosis is Aspergillus followed by Candida. Clinical improvement was seen in 91% of cases and most of the cases responded satisfactorily with topical clotrimazole. 


Vennewald I, Klemm E. Otomycosis: diagnosis and treatment. Clin Dermatol. 2010;28:202–11.

Sangavi AKB, Peerapur B, Gummadi N. Clinico-mycological study of otomycosis in Raichur, Karnataka: a hospital based study. Int J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018;4(1):233-6.

Gharaghani M, Seifi Z, Zarei Mahmoudabadi A. Otomycosis in Iran: a review. Mycopathologia. 2015;179(5-6):415–24.

Jia X, Liang Q, Chi F, Cao W. Otomycosis in Shanghai: aetiology, clinical features and therapy. Mycoses. 2012;55(5):404–9.

Kiakojuri K, Roushan MRH, Sepidgar SAA. Suction clearance and 2% topical miconazole versus the same combination with acidic drops in the treatment of otomycosis. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2007;38:749–53.

Kombila M, Gomez dDM, De Bievre C, Crepet G, Debrie J, Belembaogo E, et al. Fungal otitis in Libreville. Study of 83 cases. Bull Soc Pathol Exot Filiales. 1988;82:201–7.

Jung T, Jin T. Diseases of the external ear. In: Ballenger’s otorhinolaryngology head and neck surgery. 6th ed. Spain: BC Decker; 2003.

Mishra G, Mehta N, Pal M. Chronic bilateral otomycosis caused by Aspergillus niger. Mycoses. 2004;47:82–4.

Ozcan KM, Ozcan M, Karaarslan A, Karaarslan F. Otomycosis in Turkey: predisposing factors, aetiology and therapy. J Laryngol Otol. 2003;117:39-42

Paulose KO, Al Khalifa S, Shenoy P, Sharma RK. Mycotic infection of the ear (otomycosis). J Laryngol Otol. 1989;103:30-5.

Nwabuisi C, Ologe FE. The fungal profile of otomycosis patients in Ilorin, Nigeria. Niger J Med. 2001;10:124-6.

Koç AN, Oğuzkaya M, Erdem F. Otomikoza neden olan mantar türleri. Turk Mikrobiyol Cem Derg. 1998;28:96-8.

Enweani IB, Igumbor H. Prevalence of otomycosis in malnourished children in Edo State, Nigeria. Mycopathologia. 1997-98;140:85-7.

Kaur R, Mittal N, Kakkar M. Otomycosis – A clinicomycologic study. Ear, Nose, Throat J. 2000;79:606-9.

Oliveris S, CapellO G, Napolitano Ma Trido C. Cullae Study of otomycosis (aetiology and analysis of predisposing factors. Boll Ist Sieroter Milan. 1984;63:537-42.

Paulose KO, Khalifa SA, Shenoy P, Sharma RK. Mycotic infections of the ear. A prospective study. J Laryngologyotol. 1989;103:30-5.

Than KM, Naing KS, Min M. Otomycosis in Burma – The American journal of Tropical. Med Hygiene. 1980;29(4).

Yehia MM, Al Habib HM, Shehab NM, Otomycosis a common problem in North Iraq. J Laryngology Otology. 1990;104:387-9.

Arshad M, Khan NU, Ali N, Afridi NM, Sensitivity and spectrum of bacterial isolates in infectious otitis externa. J Coll Physicians Surg Pakistan. 2004;3(14):3146-9.

Darko E, Jenca A, Orenca KM. Otomycosis of Candidal origin in Eastern Slovakia. Folia Microbiologica. 2004;44(4):277-83.






Original Research Articles