Which bacteria are involved in the pathophysiology of chronic tonsillitis?

Updated: Apr 06, 2020
  • Author: Udayan K Shah, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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A polymicrobial bacterial population is observed in most cases of chronic tonsillitis, with alpha- and beta-hemolytic streptococcal species, S aureus, H influenzae, and Bacteroides species having been identified. A study that was based on bacteriology of the tonsillar surface and core in 30 children undergoing tonsillectomy suggested that antibiotics prescribed 6 months before surgery did not alter the tonsillar bacteriology at the time of tonsillectomy. [4] A relationship between tonsillar size and chronic bacterial tonsillitis is believed to exist. This relationship is based on both the aerobic bacterial load and the absolute number of B and T lymphocytes. H influenzae is the bacterium most often isolated in hypertrophic tonsils and adenoids. With regard to penicillin resistance or beta-lactamase production, the microbiology of tonsils removed from patients with recurrent GABHS pharyngitis has not been shown to be significantly different from the microbiology oftonsilsremovedfrom patients with tonsillar hypertrophy.

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