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Biofilm density in the pediatric nasopharynx: recurrent acute otitis media versus obstructive sleep apnea



Biofilm density in the pediatric nasopharynx: recurrent acute otitis media versus obstructive sleep apnea



Annals of Otology Rhinology and Laryngology 118(7): 519-524



We compared the biofilm surface density of adenoids removed from children with recurrent acute otitis media (RAOM) to that of adenoids removed from children with a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We performed a comparative microanatomic study of adenoid mucosa using scanning electron microscopy in patients with diagnoses of RAOM and OSA (27 female and 41 male; age range, 3 months to 15 years). The adenoids removed from patients with RAOM had dense, mature biofilms covering nearly their entire mucosal surfaces. More specifically, the adenoids removed from patients with RAOM had an average of 93.53% of their mucosal surface covered, versus an average of 1.01% coverage on the adenoids removed from patients with OSA. These differences were statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The adenoids removed from patients with RAOM had almost their entire mucosal surface covered with biofilms, versus scant coverage for patients with OSA. Recurrent acute otitis media is notoriously resistant to antibiotic treatment, and aspirates of middle ear fluid repeatedly yield negative cultures. It is these properties that have led biofilms to become increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of RAOM. Thus, the resistance of biofilms to antimicrobials, together with their planktonic shedding of organisms, may be an important mechanism in the development of RAOM.

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Accession: 051805894

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19708492

DOI: 10.1177/000348940911800711


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