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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1981 May-Jun;90(3 Pt 1):261-3.

Aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in tonsils of children with recurrent tonsillitis.


Tonsils were obtained from 50 children suffering from recurrent tonsillitis. Patients' ages ranged from 2.5 to 17 years (mean 6 years); 29 were males and 21 females. The tonsils were sectioned in half after heat searing of the surface and the core material was cultured for aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms. Mixed aerobic and anaerobic flora was obtained in all patients, yielding an average of 7.8 isolates (4.1 anaerobes and 3.7 aerobes) per specimen. There were 207 anaerobes isolated. The predominant isolates were 101 Bacteroides sp (including 10 B fragilis group, and 47 B melaninogenicus group), 29 Fusobacterium sp, 34 Gram-positive anaerobic cocci (25 Peptococcus sp and 9 Peptostreptococcus sp) and 16 Veillonella sp. There were 185 aerobic isolates. The predominant isolates were 41 alpha-hemolytic streptococci, 24 Staphylococcus aureus, 19 beta-hemolytic streptococci (11 group A, 4 group B, and 2 each group C and F), 14 Haemophilus sp (including 12 H influenzae type B) and 5 H parainfluenzae. Beta-lactamase production was noted in 56 isolates recovered from 37 tonsils. These were all isolates of S aureus (24) and B fragilis (10), 15 of 47 B melaninogenicus (32%), 5 of the 12 B oralis (42%), and 2 of 12 H influenzae type B (17%). Our findings indicate the polymicrobial aerobic and anaerobic nature of deep tonsillar flora in children with recurrent tonsillitis, and demonstrate the presence of many beta-lactamase-producing organisms in 74% of the patients.

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