Sinus - Sinusitis and Biofilms - An Introduction - Part 1
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Sinusitis and Biofilms - An Introduction - Part 1

Why is it that some sinusitis sufferers do not respond to normal treatments, medications and surgical procedures and continue to come down with sinus infections regardless of the treatment they have been given? One answer to this question appears to be an atypical immune reaction to fungus, and topical anti-fungal therapies heave been developed by Mayo Clinic researchers. Another possible answer to this question has surfaced in the past couple of years: biofilms. This article is meant to be a brief introduction to biofilms and how they might be a factor in recurring sinus infections.


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 Definition, Description and Medical Implications of Biofilms

What are biofilms and how to they resist normal treatments for sinusitis such as antibiotics? 'Biofilms are composed of microbal communities that are attached to an environmental surface. The microorganisms usually encase themselves in an extra-cellular polysaccharide or slime matrix'. In other words, biofilms are a collection of bacteria and other microbes that encase themselves in a sort of slime. It is apparently the slime material that protects the bacteria from being destroyed by antibiotics, for example. Biofilms have been shown to play a major part in other medical conditions involving chronic infections, such as cystic fibrosis, Legionnaire's Disease, and otitis media, the most common type of acute ear infection in children in the U.S., among others. In addition, they can also form on medical implanted products such as stents, implants, catheters, and other devices. They appear to destroy cilia when present in sinusitis patients, and the loss of cilia is detrimental to the normal drainage system of nasal passages, so this is a serious issue since destroyed cilia cannot be replaced.

Non-medical Implications of Biofilms

Biofilms are not just associated with medical conditions, however. In fact biofilms are ubiquitous and can form under the right conditions on almost any kind of surface, including metals, rock, and of course human tissue. Two common examples of biofilms are pond scum and dental plaque. Detrimental biofilms are the cause of billions of dollars in damaged products and equipment systems in such fields as food processing, water treatment and metal-working. The also cause damage by clogging household drains and water pipes. Their effects are not always harmful, however, for example when they attach to the roots of certain plants they seem to aid the transfer of nutrients from the soil to the plant. Also, they are used in sewage treatment facilities to help treat sewage water before it is released to the environment, and they are utilized in treating contaminated ground water as well.

 
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Walt Ballenberger is founder of http://www.postnasaldrip.net a resource web site for sinusitis sufferers like himself. For a free report entitled 'Sinus Treatment Success Stories', visit http://www.postnasaldrip.net and click on the Free Report link. This resource can be of significant help to chronic sinus sufferers.

 
 
     
 
 





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