Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Ramakrishnan: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is an extremely common problem, associated with major quality of life alterations and financial burden. Bacteria are thought to play a role in the initiation or sustenance of the disease, at least in a subset of CRS patients. Chronic rhinosinusitis is probably a group of heterogeneous diseases with different pathways that result in the same endpoint. Here, we study the bacterial microbiome of a large group of CRS and healthy sinuses, and discover that a few clinical subtypes display unique bacterial microbiome profiles and that the microbiome may predict outcomes from severe Chronic rhinosinusitis patients electing to undergo surgery.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Ramakrishnan: We should really start thinking about subtypes of Chronic rhinosinusitis in the clinical setting, rather than lumping everyone into the same treatment algorithm. It is likely that Chronic rhinosinusitis patients with asthma, for instance, have a unique pathophysiology. As such, therapies can be selectively administered, and a better understanding of the disease course and prognosis can be offered to the patient.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Ramakrishnan: We need to continue research efforts in this field to determine if these bacteria are actively promoting health or disease, and knowing what these bacteria are doing may allow us to intervene in a completely novel way.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Vijay R. Ramakrishnan, MD (2015). Chronic Rhinosinusitis Varies By Bacterial Microbiome