Background: Recently, biofilms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). We sought to determine the prevalence of biofilm-forming cultures obtained from patients with CRS and clinical factors that may contribute to biofilm formation. Methods: Endoscopically guided sinonasal cultures were obtained in duplicate from CRS patients with evidence of mucopurulence. Bacterial swabs were sent for microbiological characterization and were simultaneously evaluated for biofilm-forming capacity by a modified Calgary Biofilm Detection Assay. Biofilm formation was based on concomitant values of biofilm-forming Pseudomonas aeruginosa O1 (PAO1) (positive control) and non-biofilm-forming mutants sad-31 (type IV pili) and sad-36 (flagella K; negative control). Samples, with growth greater than the sad-31 mutant, were designated as biofilm formers. Results: Sinonasal cultures were obtained from 157 consecutive patients (83 female patients) over a 4-month period. Forty-five samples (28.6%) showed biofilm formation. Among patients with a prior history of functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), 30.7% (n = 42) showed biofilm growth. For patients naive to surgical intervention (n = 20), only 15% showed biofilm formation. A positive, statistically significant correlation existed between biofilm formation and number of prior FESS procedures. Polymicrobial cultures, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and/or Staphylococcus aureus comprised 71% of samples. Chi-squared analysis showed an association with prior infections, but not with any pharmacologic therapy or comorbidies. Conclusion: We show a high percentage of CRS patients (28.6%) whose sinonasal mucopurulence has biofilm-forming capacity. Postsurgical patients had a high prevalence of biofilm-forming bacteria, a possible reflection of the severe nature of their disease. Additional studies are warranted.
- Calgary biofilm detection
- Chronic rhinosinusitis
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery
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