Allergic rhinitis augments the response to a bacterial sinus infection in mice: A review of an animal model

Am J Rhinol. Sep-Oct 2006;20(5):524-33. doi: 10.2500/ajr.2006.20.2920.


Background: Sinusitis is a poorly understood disease. Despite the significant morbidity and the enormous cost of treating sinusitis, little progress has been made at improving our understanding of its pathophysiology. One reason for restricted progress in understanding the disease is the lack of a satisfactory animal model that mimics sinusitis in man.

Objective: We review data establishing the development of sinusitis in mice after instillation of Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common pathogen responsible for acute sinusitis in man. We also review data showing that allergic inflammation in mice worsens a subsequent bacterial sinusitis. We use this data to hypothesize how allergic inflammation worsens a bacterial sinus infection.

Methods: Different strains of mice were made allergic and/or infected.

Results: We show our ability to generate an allergic reaction in the nose after sensitization to ovalbumin. Our data further show that an ongoing allergic nasal reaction worsens acute sinusitis.

Conclusion: A mouse model has been created for a study of the interaction of allergic rhinitis and acute bacterial sinusitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Pneumococcal Infections / pathology
  • Rhinitis / immunology*
  • Rhinitis / pathology
  • Sinusitis / microbiology*
  • Sinusitis / pathology
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / pathogenicity
  • Time Factors


  • Ovalbumin