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December 1984

Bacteriology of Chronic Tonsillitis in Young Adults

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otolaryngology, The Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md (Dr Brook), and George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC (Dr Brook and Ms Yocum).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1984;110(12):803-805. doi:10.1001/archotol.1984.00800380033009

• Tonsils were obtained from 22 young adults (mean age, 23 years) suffering from chronic tonsillitis. Mixed aerobic and anaerobic flora was obtained from core tonsillar cultures in all patients, yielding an average of 9.0 isolates (5.3 anaerobes and 3.7 aerobes) per specimen. The predominant anaerobic isolates were Bacteroides sp, Fusobacterium sp, and gram-positive cocci. The predominant aerobic isolates were α-hemolytic streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Branhamella catarrhalis, β-hemolytic streptococci, and Hemophilus sp. β-Lactamase-production was noted in 32 isolates recovered from 18 tonsils (82%). These included all eight isolates of S aureus and five B fragilis, and 11 of 24 B melaninogenicus group (46%). Our findings indicate the polymicrobial nature of deep tonsillar flora in young adults with chronic tonsillitis, and demonstrate the presence of β-lactamase-producing organisms in most of the patients.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1984;110:803-805)

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