The role of bacterial biofilms and the pathophysiology of chronic rhinosinusitis

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2008 May;8(3):227-33. doi: 10.1007/s11882-008-0038-2.


The earliest description of a bacterial biofilm is likely centuries old. However, only in the past few decades has a wealth of knowledge developed pertaining to this bacterial form of existence. Biofilms have been implicated mainly in chronic disease states, and the current available treatment modalities for infection have demonstrated limited efficacy against bacteria in this form. There is evidence associating bacterial biofilm formation in chronic infections of the upper airway, and therefore we examine the possible role of a bacterial biofilm in chronic rhinosinusitis while drawing parallels with recent data from other bodily regions. Lastly, directions for contemporary biofilm research are reviewed and highlighted in terms of their application to chronic rhinosinusitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Biofilms* / drug effects
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Otitis Media / etiology
  • Otitis Media / microbiology
  • Rhinitis / etiology*
  • Rhinitis / microbiology
  • Sinusitis / etiology*
  • Sinusitis / microbiology
  • Tonsillitis / etiology
  • Tonsillitis / microbiology