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Biofilms and their role in otorhinolaryngological disease

  • E Macassey (a1) and P Dawes (a1)
Abstract
AbstractObjective:

To describe the pathophysiology of biofilm communities and their role in otorhinolaryngological disease, with reference to the published literature.

Design:

Review of relevant literature, using Medline and the combined search terms ‘biofilms’ and ‘otorhinolaryngology’, and also various related keywords such as ‘tonsil’ and ‘adenoid’.

Results:

Description of biofilm pathophysiology and of published reports of biofilms in otorhinolaryngological disease.

Conclusion:

Virtually all microbes live in biofilm communities. Within these communities, the microbes assume differing specialised roles which confer survival advantages on the community. These communities cause chronic and device-associated infections. Within the specialist field of otorhinolaryngology, biofilms have been shown to play a role in many infections, including: chronic otitis media, cholesteatoma, chronic tonsillitis, chronic sinusitis, and infections of tracheostomies, endotracheal tubes and cochlear implants.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Emily Macassey, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Dunedin Public Hospital, Great King Street, Dunedin, New Zealand. Fax: 006434747956 E-mail: Emily.macassey@healthotago.co.nz
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The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
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