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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Ear infection causing bacteria becoming resistant to vaccines

Doctors at Rochester Regional Health Network are working with the CDC to study the bacteria.
A doctor checks a young boy's ears. (NBC News)

ROCHESTER, NY (WTHR) — Researchers are looking at an emerging problem with the bacteria that causes ear infections.

Doctors at Rochester Regional Health Network are working with the CDC to study the bacteria.

The issue is that the bacteria is changing.

"They're becoming resistant to the regular antibiotics that children are receiving, and they also get vaccines against ear infections," said Dr. Michael Pichichero.

Those vaccines are becoming less effective, which also means the ear infections are becoming harder to treat.

The study involves draining and collecting samples from an infected ear and then studying the bacteria.

The hope is to learn what works best in treating a certain bacteria so treatment can be focused. It could also lead to a new vaccine, but it could take two years before the FDA receives approval for testing on children.