Bacterial load versus Clinical Ear State. The geometric mean bacterial loads are segregated by clinical ear state for each bacterial pathogen. A significantly higher load was seen for M. catarrhalis, H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae in children with AOM compared to Normal ear states (Mann Whitney Wilcoxon test). Significant differences in the loads across the ear states, for M. catarrhalis and S. pneumoniae, were confirmed by the Kruskal-Wallis equality of populations rank test. There was no significant difference in geometric mean of the Total Bacterial Load between ear states.