ST. LOUIS Saint Louis University researchers have analyzed the microbiomes of people with chronic rhinosinusitis and healthy volunteers and found evidence that some chronic sinus issues may be the result of inflammation triggered by an immune response to otherwise harmless microorganisms in the sinus membranes.
The findings, recently published in JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, support mounting evidence that inflammation may be the cause of most chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) instead of bacterial infection.
Study author Rajeev Aurora, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Saint Louis University, says that the paper sheds new light on the spectra of microorganisms that live in our bodies and our own immune response to those organisms.
Chronic rhinosinusitis, the inflammation of the sinus and nasal passages lasting more than three months, is one of the most common chronic conditions in the U.S.
The condition can be challenging for doctors to treat because the underlying mechanisms causing the condition are not well understood. While antibiotics can help some patients, others are not helped by drugs or more invasive treatments, such as surgery to open up sinuses. Doctors have proposed any number of causes, included allergy, immune deficiency, cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux, and structural abnormalities, but questions remain about the origin of the condition.
As scientists are learning more about the body's microbiome, the specific colonies of microorganisms like bacteria that live in various places in the body, including the mouth, the intestinal tract, and skin, they are becoming aware that the clusters of microbiota can be remarkably different from each other from place to place in the same person, as well as from the microbiota of other people.
Aurora and his research team decided to study the microorganisms that live in the sinus membrane to learn more
|Contact: Carrie Bebermeyer|
Saint Louis University