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Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2016 Nov 1;30(6):202-205. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2016.30.4372.

Topical probiotics as a therapeutic alternative for chronic rhinosinusitis: A preclinical proof of concept.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.



Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) have been shown to manifest a high inflammatory phenotype, with a sinus microbiome deficient in gram-positive bacteria. Gram-positive bacteria are capable of downregulating proinflammatory host responses via an interleukin (IL) 10 mediated response and may represent a potential therapeutic alternative for CRS. We wanted to (i) immunoprofile the IL-10 induction capacity of two gram-positive probiotic strains and (ii) verify the tolerance of these strains by the sinus epithelium.


A peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) challenge model was used to document probiotic induction of IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha responses at various bacterial dilutions. Epithelial cell tolerance was demonstrated by using a primary epithelial cell model derived from patient biopsy specimens (six patients total [three with CRS and three controls]). After an incubation period with either a live or a heat-killed probiotic strain, cell viability was assessed by using light microscopy.


Both probiotic strains induced high IL-10 secretion in PBMCs, with differing profiles of TNF alpha production. Microscopic evaluation after probiotic incubation demonstrated intact cell viability for all cell cultures.


We identified well-tolerated, nonpathogenic, "generally recognized as safe" status gram-positive probiotics with anti-inflammatory properties. Topical probiotics represented a potential novel topical therapeutic strategy for CRS relevant for further clinical evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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