The Assessment of antimicrobial activity of cerumen (earwax) and antibiotics against pathogenic bacteria isolated from ear pus samples

Efficacy of Cerumen and Antibiotics against Pathogenic Bacteria Isolates of Ear Pus samples

  • Iffat Naz | Department of Biology, Scientific Unit, Deanship of Educational Services, Qassim University, Buraidah, Qassim, Saudi Arabia.


The present study is focused on the assessment of the antimicrobial activity of cerumen and antibiotics against bacteria isolated from ear pus samples. Thus, a total of 50 ear pus samples were collected from infected patients using sterile swabs and were screened using pure culture techniques. Total of 04 different bacterial isolates were identified while, the prevalence data revealed that Pseudomonas spp., were dominant (58%, n = 29) among isolated bacteria followed by Staphylococcus spp., (22%, n = 11), Escherichia coli (14%, n = 7) and Proteus spp., (6%, n = 3). Further, bioassay revealed that Pseudomonas spp., and Staphylococcus spp., were most sensitive to Clindamycin (94.73%) while displayed resistant to Ciprofloxacin and Ampicillin. Similarly, E. coli and Proteus spp., were most sensitive to Ciprofloxacin (92.8-95.21%) as compared to the other antibiotics. Moreover, antibacterial activity of cerumen was also assessed against test organisms and its maximum activity was observed against Pseudomonas spp., (90% equivalent to Clindamycin potency) and Staphylococcus spp., (60% equivalent to Amoxicillin potency) while least effective against E. coli (36%) and Proteus spp., (22%). Thus, it was concluded that the antibacterial activity of cerumen might be due to the presence of potential chemicals i.e. flavonoids and terpenoids.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


1. Gabriel OT. Cerumen impaction: Challenges and management profile in a rural health facility. Nigerian medical journal: J Nigeria Med Associat 2015;56(6):390.
2. Shokry E, de Oliveira AE, Avelino MAG, et al. Earwax: A neglected body secretion or a step ahead in clinical diagnosis? A pilot study. J Proteomics 2017;159:92-01.
3. Zeeshan M, Zeb J, Saleem M. ENT diseases presenting to a tertiary care hospital. Endocrinol Metab Int J 2018;6(6):416-8.
4. Kilkenny N. The nurse's role in ear care: undertaking hearing assessment and ear cleaning. British J Nurs 2019;28(5):281-3.
5. Tipton CB, Honsinger KL, Harris MS, Malhotra PS. Acute Otologic Infections in Pediatric Patients. J Pediat Infect Dis 2019;14(02):52-62.
6. Shokry E, Antoniosi-Filho NR. Insights into cerumen and application in diagnostics: past, present and future prospective. Biochemia Med 2017;27(3):477-91.
7. Krouse HJ, Magit AE, O’Connor S, et al. Plain Language Summary: Earwax (Cerumen Impaction). Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery 2017;156(1):30-7.
8. Horton GA, Simpson MT, Beyea MM, Beyea JA. Cerumen Management: An Updated Clinical Review and Evidence-Based Approach for Primary Care Physicians. J Prim Care Comm Health 2020; 11:2150132720904181
9. Natsch A. Biochemistry and genetics of human axilla odor. In Springer Handbook of Odor 2017;123-4. Springer, Cham.
10. Prasad S, Mohan N. Anti-microbial properties of human wax. Int J Med Sci Public Health 2014;3(1):96-9.
11. Ngo CC, Massa HM, Thornton RB, Cripps AW. Predominant bacteria detected from the middle ear fluid of children experiencing otitis media: a systematic review. PloS one 2016;11(3).
12. Demir D, Yılmaz MS, Güven M, et al. Comparison of clinical outcomes of three different packing materials in the treatment of severe acute otitis externa. J Laryngol Otol 2018;132(6):523-8.
13. Villedieu A, Papesh E, Weinberg SE, et al. Seasonal variation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in culture positive otitis externa in South East England. Epidemiol Infect 2018;146(14):1811-2.
14. Nagaraj G, Girdhar A, Chinnappa J, et al. Bacterial Profile of Middle Ear Fluid with Recurrent Acute Otitis Media Infection Using Culture Independent 16S rDNA Gene Sequencing. J Pediat Infect Dis 2019;14(03):108-15.
15. Hasibi M, Ashtiani MK, Motassadi-Zarandi M, et al. A treatment protocol for management of bacterial and fungal malignant external otitis: a large cohort in Tehran, Iran. Annals Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2017;126(7):561-7.
16. Adegbiji WA, Aremu SK, Olatoke F, et al. Epidemiology of otitis externa in developing country. Int J Rec Sci Res 2017;8(6):18023-7.
17. Doree C, Burton MJ. Ear drops for the removal of ear wax. Cochrane Database Sys Rev 2018;7:29-42.
18. Harith SS, Mazlun MH, Mydin MM, et al. Studies on phytochemical constituents and antimicrobial properties of Citrullus lanatus peels. Malaysian J Analytic Sci 2018;22(1):151-6.
19. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Performance standards for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute 2017. Wayne, PA, USA.
20. Parin U, Erbas G, Ural K, et al. Investigation of bacterial and fungal agents from cutaneous lesions in canine Leishmaniosis. Indian J Animal Res 2020;54(1):96-00.
21. Devi KA, Lakshmi BKM, Ratnasri PV, Hemalatha KPJ. Antimicrobial activity of cerumen. Cur Res Microbiol Biotechnol 2015;3(4): 670-80.
22. Vaghela MM, Doshi H, Rajput S. An analysis of ear discharge and antimicrobial sensitivity used in its treatment. Int J Res Med Sci 2017;4(7):2656-60.
23. Magnet MD, Arongozeb MD, Khan GM, Ahmed ZA. Isolation and identification of different bacteria from different types of burn wound infections and study their antimicrobial sensitivity pattern. IJRANSS 2013;1(3):125-32.
24. Gerchman Y, Patichov R, Zeltzer T. Lipolytic, proteolytic, and cholesterol-degrading bacteria from the human cerumen. Cur Microbiol 2012;64(6):588-91.
25. Saxby C, Williams R, Hickey S. Finding the most effective cerumenolytic. J Laryngol Otol 2013;127(11):1067-70.
26. Gupta S, Singh R, Kosaraju K, et al. A study of antibacterial and antifungal properties of human cerumen. Indian J Otol 2012;18(4):189.
27. Schwaab M, Gurr A, Neumann A, et al. Human antimicrobial proteins in ear wax. Eur J Clinic Microbiol Infect Dis 2011;30(8):997-04.
28. Swain SK, Anand N, Sahu MC. Human cerumen and its antimicrobial properties: Study at a tertiary care teaching hospital of Eastern India. Annals of Indian Academy of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 2019;3(1):13.
29. Shareef AS, Amin AA, Amin BA. Bacteriology of Otitis Media with Effusion in Children and Their Sensitivity to Antibi-otics in Erbil City. J Kurdistan Board Med Spec 2018;4(1).
30. Swain SK, Sahu MC, Debta P, Baisakh MR. Antimicrobial properties of human cerumen. Apollo Medicine 2018;15(4):197.
31. Yang JJ, Chang TW, Jiang Y, et al. Commensal Staphylococcus aureus provokes immunity to protect against skin infection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Int J Mol Sci 2018;19(5):1290.
32. Abimbola EO. A study on tongue rolling, tongue folding and cerumen type in a Nigeria population. Anatomy J Afr 2019;8(2):1540-3.
33. Soni H, Kumar JN, Patel K, Kumar RN. Photo-catalytic decolouration of Rhodamine B dye using ZVI Nano powder synthesized by chemical reduction method. Indian J Nanosci 2015;3:2.
Ear pus samples, Pathogenic bacteria, Antibiotics, Cerumen, Antibacterial potency
  • Abstract views: 627

  • PDF: 198
How to Cite
Naz, I. (2020). The Assessment of antimicrobial activity of cerumen (earwax) and antibiotics against pathogenic bacteria isolated from ear pus samples: Efficacy of Cerumen and Antibiotics against Pathogenic Bacteria Isolates of Ear Pus samples. Microbiology Research, 11(1).