The mouse is a widely used model for investigating the pathophysiological and genetic bases of otitis media (OM). It has proven a valuable tool for investigating the multifactorial bases of OM including the role of pathogens, anatomical factors, inflammatory mediators and susceptibility loci. However, straightforward and robust phenotyping tools for identifying murine otitis media are lacking, which has precluded for example the identification of mice with OM in genetic screens without resorting to time-consuming histopathology. We have set out to develop a phenotyping platform for the detection of OM in mice utilizing oto-endoscopy. We have applied the technique to a cohort of mice genetically susceptible to chronic otitis media. We show that oto-endoscopy is a safe, reliable and valid method for detecting otitis media in the mouse and discuss its utility in screens to identify novel genes involved with susceptibility to OM. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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