Bacteriological evaluation of tonsillar microbial flora according to age and tonsillar size in recurrent tonsillitis

Develioglu O. N. , Ipek H. , Bahar H. , Can G., Kulekci M., Aygun G.

EUROPEAN ARCHIVES OF OTO-RHINO-LARYNGOLOGY, vol.271, no.6, pp.1661-1665, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 271 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00405-014-2898-5
  • Page Numbers: pp.1661-1665


Although numerous studies based on the bacteriology of the tonsil have been carried out, none of them analyzed the variation of tonsillar flora with respect to both age and tonsillar size. The purpose of this study was to isolate the facultative and obligate anaerobes both from the surface and the core of tonsils in recurrent tonsillitis as well as to analyze the variation of isolated bacterial strains according to age and tonsillar size. A prospective study was performed on 111 patients who underwent tonsillectomy. We analyzed the differences between the bacterial pathogens in recurrent tonsillitis and semi-growth estimates with regard to age and tonsillar grade. Among 111 cases, 604 bacterial strains of 21 different from the tonsil superficial and core were isolated. The most common facultative anaerobic species isolated from the surface and core were Coagulase-negative staphylococci, Alpha-hemolytic streptococci and Diphtheroid bacilli in all subgroups except patients below 8 years old. The most commonly obligate anaerobic species isolated from the core were Propionibacterium acnes, Prevotella melaninogenica and Peptostreptococcus anaerobius. We found no significant difference in the cultured bacteria with respect to age and tonsillar size. The study subgroups did not differ in the occurrence of semiquantitative growth estimates of 3-4+. Our study demonstrates that there is polymicrobial aerobic and anaerobic flora in tonsils with regardless of patient's age and tonsillar size. This polymicrobial spectrum of bacteria may contribute to recurrence and to the failure of conservative treatment of these cases and therefore leads to surgical therapy.