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Evidence of bacterial biofilms in nasal polyposis.

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Servicio de Otorrinolaringología, Sanatorio Allende, Córdoba, Argentina.



The pathogeny of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis (CRS/NP) has not been elucidated. Bacterial exotoxins have been implicated in many inflammatory chronic diseases, such as chronic otitis, chronic tonsillitis, cholesteatomas, and more recently CRS/NP. We propose that the bacteria in CRS/NP are not only present in a planktonic state, but also occur in microbial communities as biofilms.


To determine and characterize the presence of biofilms in CRS/NP.


We performed a prospective study in 12 patients undergoing endoscopic sinus surgery for nasal polyposis. Ten patients without CRS/NP who underwent septoplasty were included as a control group. Tissue samples were obtained from the inferior turbinate mucosae. The bacteria were isolated and typified and the material was examined in vitro using a spectrophotometer, and in vivo using optical microscopy and confocal scanning laser microscopy.


Moderate to high in vitro biofilm-forming capacity was detected in 9 out of 12 patients with CRS/NP (mean [SD] optical density values of between 0.284 [0.017] and 3.337 [0.029]). The microorganisms isolated were Staphylococcus (5 patients), Streptococcus viridans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis and Streptococcus viridans/Corynebacterium. Biofilms were demonstrated in vivo in 2 patients and no biofilm structures were evident in any of the controls.


This study demonstrates the presence of bacterial biofilms in patients with CRS/NP. This chronic inflammatory factor might contribute to nasal mucosa damage, increased inflammatory cells in tissue, and the subsequent hyperplasic process.

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