Ethics in Medicine

Sinusitis: Not enough Bacteria?

Kristen Sparrow • September 20, 2012

In the ongoing discussion of whether or not we are too clean,  there is an interesting study from UCSF looking at the actual types of bacteria in the sinuses finding that certain types of bacteria are beneficial and may be deficient in patients with chronic sinusitis.  One might ask the question of whether antibiotics, whether used for sinusitis or other remote infections might contribute to the deficiency of thee healthier bacteria.

Bringing back lost bacteria may be key to sinusitis treatment
People suffering from sinusitis – an inflammation of the sinuses that sends millions of Americans to the doctor each year – are lacking the bacterial diversity found in healthy sinuses and have an elevated level of one particular bacterium, according to a study by UCSF researchers.
Scientists found that people with sinusitis have a greater abundance of the bacterium Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum but have lost bacteria that may protect the sinuses from infection. They also identified another bacterium in healthy sinuses, Lactobacillus sakei, which fought off sinusitis in experiments on mice. The findings suggest that bringing back the diversity of bacteria that had been lost could help treat the condition.
The researchers published their findings in the Sept. 12 issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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