Analysis of Sinonasal Microbiota in Exacerbations of Chronic Rhinosinusitis Subgroups

Laura J. Vandelaar, Blake Hanson, Michael Marino, William C. Yao, Amber U. Luong, Cesar A. Arias, Vijay Ramakrishnan, Martin J. Citardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Microbiome analyses now allow precise determination of the sinus microbiota of patients with exacerbations of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). The aim of this report is to describe the sinus microbiota of acute exacerbations in CRS clinical subgroups (with nasal polyps [CRSwNP], without nasal polyps [CRSsNP], and allergic fungal rhinosinusitis [AFRS]). Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Tertiary rhinology practice. Subjects and Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all patients whose sinus microbiota were assayed via a commercially available microbiome technology during an acute CRS exacerbation during the 2-year period ending December 31, 2016. All samples were sinus aspirates collected under endoscopic visualization in clinic. Results: Samples from a total of 134 patients (65 CRSsNP, 55 CRSwNP, and 14 AFRS) were reviewed. The observed richness (number of taxa >2% relative abundance) ranged between 1 and 11 taxa, with an average of 3 taxa per specimen. The most common bacteria in all groups were Staphylococcal spp (including Staphylococcus aureus), Streptococcus spp, Pseudomonas spp, and Escherichia spp. S aureus had an increased prevalence in CRSsNP and AFRS as compared with CRSwNP. Otherwise, the sinus microbiota were markedly similar among all 3 clinical subgroups. Conclusions: Many bacterial types are identified during acute CRS exacerbation according to DNA-based detection techniques. Bacterial richness was remarkably low in all samples. Few differences in the patterns among clinical subgroups were observed. Further investigation is warranted to determine the clinical significance of these observations and their role in current clinical algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOTO Open
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • 16S rRNA
  • bacteria
  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • culture
  • microbiome
  • sinusitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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