Sinonasal microbial biofilms are disease modifiers in chronic rhinosinusitis
Biofilms are aggregates of microorganisms that are intercalated in a complex film of glycocalyx matrix that fasten to inert and biologic surfaces. In the biomedical context they are felt to contribute to many chronic diseases as they allow for the evasion of host defenses (yet induce inflammation), manifest decreased susceptibility to antibiotic therapy, and deliberately release planktonic microbes, allowing implantation and population of new anatomic locations with microbes causing new acute infections in the host. Our group was the first to demonstrate biofilms in human sinuses and to correlate biofilm formation with increased severity of the chronic rhinosinusitis. This early work dovetails with the current work on taste-receptor-mediated innate immunity, as microbial quorum-sensing molecules (responsible for biofilm formation) are endogenous ligands for the bitter taste receptors.
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