• Fourteen patients who had repeated episodes of otitis media and diarrhea were evaluated to determine if a defect in the host defense mechanism could account for the unusual incidence of infection. Each of the patients with recurrent otitis media and diarrhea had a profound defect in neutrophil chemotactic responsiveness. The mean chemotactic index of the patients was 21 ± 6, while that of 25 controls was 62 + 10. Other neutrophil functions, lymphocyte T-cell populations, immunoglobulins, and complement components were normal in the patients. Serum IgE levels were also normal. The presence of a defect in neutrophil chemotaxis in these patients with recurrent otitis media and chronic diarrhea suggests that the phagocyte may play an important role in protection of the mucosal surfaces of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
(Am J Dis Child 131:433-436, 1977)