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July 1988

Microbiology of the Tonsils and Adenoids in a Pediatric Population

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Otolaryngology (Drs DeDio, Tom, Wetmore, Handler, and Potsic) and Infectious Diseases (Dr McGowan), Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1988;114(7):763-765. doi:10.1001/archotol.1988.01860190067025

• To investigate the microbial flora of the tonsils and adenoids, the core tissue from the tonsils and adenoids of 50 children undergoing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for either recurrent infection or airway obstruction was cultured aerobically and anaerobically, and the number of bacterial colonies was quantitated. The most common organisms isolated were α-hemolytic streptococci, nonpathogenic Neisseria species, Haemophilus species, Staphylococcus aureus, and Corynebacterium species. No anaerobes were identified. Bacterial isolates from the tonsils and adenoids were similar in number and frequency of occurrence. Potential pathogenic bacteria (Haemophilus species, S aureus, β-hemolytic streptococci, and Streptococcus pneumoniae) were identified in 40 patients. Seventy-three percent of these patients shared a common pathogen in tonsil and adenoid tissue. Haemophilus species were recovered in 54% of patients and S aureus in 46%. No significant difference exists between the type and number of pathogens in patients undergoing adenotonsillectomy for recurrent infection or obstruction.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1988;114:763-765)