Bacterial Biofilms Implicated in Chronic Rhinosinusitis

Blockages can occur in the sinuses due to a number of factors causing trapped mucus to accumulate inside the sinuses and encouraging the growth of microorganisms in sessile layers known as biofilms.   One recent study found that biofilms were present on the mucosa of 75% of patients undergoing surgery for CRS.[i]

Different biofilm species are associated with different disease phenotypes.  H. influenzae biofilms are found in patients with mild disease, whereas S. Aureus is associated with a more severe, surgically recalcitrant pattern.[ii] [iii] Recent studieshave demonstrated that biofilm infections, involving known super-antigen producing bacteria such as S. aureus and P. aeruginosa, are implicated in CRS and reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.[iv]

Eradication of these biofilm infections and associated virulence factors is important in effectively and successfully dealing with the disease.  Repeated antibiotic exposure and increasing antibiotic resistance is a treatment challenge faced by this patient population.

Photodisinfection has been proven to effectively target and destroy biofilms and associated virulence factors, offering a clear advantage over other therapies.[v]


[i] Ragab A. et al., Evaluation of bacterial adherence and biofilm arrangements as new targets in treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Feb; 269(2): 537-44.

[ii] Foreman A., et al. Different biofilms, different disease? A clinical outcomes study. Laryngoscope. 2010 Aug; 120(8): 1701-6.

[iii] Foreman A. et al. Do biofilms contribute to the initiation and recalcitrance of chronic rhinosinusitis? Laryngoscope. 2011 May; 121(5): 1085-91.

[iv] Leid Jeff G. et al., The Importance of Biofilms in Chronic Rhinosinusitis. Biofilm Infections. Chapter 8

[v] Darveau Richard,  DNA and Cell Biology, Volume 28, Number 8, 2009, Pg 1-7.

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