Children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent experience some of the highest rates of ear disease in the world. Chronic ear disease, known as otitis media with effusion (OME), typically results from an infection in the middle ear causing significant pain and hearing loss as fluid accumulates behind the eardrum. Up to 70% of Indigenous children in the first few years of life are affected, leading to permanent hearing loss and developmental delay. Yet it is not known why Indigenous children experience higher rates of, and more severe, OME. Our team has the capacity to identify the immunological and microbiological causes for otitis media in Indigenous children. Previously we isolated a bacterial species known as Alloiococcus otitidis from NSW Indigenous children requiring surgical intervention for OME, but the role of this species in disease needs further research.