Probiotic manipulation of the chronic rhinosinusitis microbiome

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2014 Apr;4(4):309-14. doi: 10.1002/alr.21279. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


Background: Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is a key pathogenic component of the chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) microbiome and is associated with increased disease severity and poor postoperative outcomes. Probiotic treatments potentially offer a novel approach to the management of pathogenic bacteria in these recalcitrant patients through supporting a healthy community of commensal species. This study aims to investigate the probiotic properties of Staphylococcus epidermidis (SE) against SA in a mouse model of sinusitis.

Methods: Twenty C57/BL6 mice received intranasal inoculations of phosphate buffered saline (PBS), SE, SA, or a combination of SE and SA (SE+SA) for 3 days. Following euthanasia, the mouse snouts were harvested and prepared for histological analysis. Counts of periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive goblet cells were the primary outcome measure.

Results: Goblet cell counts were significantly higher in both the SA and SE+SA groups compared to those receiving PBS or SE alone (p < 0.05). However, the SE+SA group demonstrated significantly lower goblet cell counts compared to the SA group (p < 0.05). Mice receiving SE alone did not show a significant difference to those receiving PBS (p > 0.05). The presence of SA postinoculation was confirmed by culture in both the SA and SE+SA groups.

Conclusion: This study confirms the probiotic potential of SE against SA in a mouse model of sinusitis. Although the interactions that occur between many probiotic species and pathogens are yet to be fully understood, studies such as this support further exploration of ecologically-based treatment paradigms for the management of CRS.

Keywords: CRS; Staphylococcus aureus; Staphylococcus epidermidis; chronic rhinosinusitis; microbiome; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Chronic Disease
  • Goblet Cells / pathology
  • Hyperplasia
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microbiota
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use*
  • Rhinitis / microbiology
  • Rhinitis / pathology
  • Rhinitis / therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / pathology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / therapy*
  • Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis*