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Laryngoscope. 2000 Jun;110(6):994-9.

Microbiology of healthy and diseased adenoids.

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Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.



To determine the qualitative and quantitative microbiology of core adenoid tissue obtained from four groups of 15 children each, with recurrent otitis media (ROM), recurrent adenotonsillitis (RAT), obstructive adenoid hypertrophy (OAH), and occlusion or speech abnormalities (controls).


Core cultures of surgically removed diseased adenoids and of healthy controls were cultured for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.


Polymicrobial aerobic-anaerobic flora were present in all instances. Ninety-four organisms were isolated from control specimens, and 148 from ROM, 142 from RAT, and 149 from OAH specimens. The predominant aerobes in all groups were alpha-hemolytic and gamma-hemolytic streptococci, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, group A beta-hemolytic streptococci, and Moraxella catarrhalis. The prominent anaerobes were Peptostreptococcus, Prevotella, and Fusobacterium species. The number, concentration and distribution of types of most organisms did not vary among the three groups of diseased adenoids. However, the number of those that are potential pathogens and those that produced beta-lactamase was lower in the control than the diseased adenoids (P < .001).


The study highlights the importance of the bacterial load in the adenoids in contributing to the etiology of ROM, RAT, and OAH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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