OBJECTIVE: This study examines the presence of atypical bacteria in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) by utilizing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Eleven patients with CRS were prospectively enrolled. DNA was isolated from the mucosa samples and subjected to PCR using oligonucleotides specific for identification of atypical bacteria including: Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila. Also, routine aerobic and anerobic cultures were processed. Sinus tissue samples from 6 fresh corpses without evident sinus disease served as controls. RESULTS: No atypical bacteria were identified in the 11 patient samples by PCR. One of 6 cadaver controls was positive by PCR for M pneumoniae. The most common organism obtained from routine culture was coagulase negative staphylococci. CONCLUSION: Using sensitive PCR techniques, CRS mucosa did not reveal DNA from M pneumoniae, C pneumoniae, or L pneumophila. SIGNIFICANCE: Atypical bacteria were not identified in patients with CRS despite highly effective PCR methods and they may not play a significant role in the cause of CRS.
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