Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (Aug 2012)
Naina P, Anandan S, Mathews SS, Job A, Albert RR
Background: Bacteria including Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and anaerobic bacteria such as Fusobacterium necrophorum have been implicated as etiological agents of chronic pharyngitis in Western literature. Because there are no data regarding this from India, the authors undertook this study.
Study Design Prospective case-control study.
Setting Tertiary-level medical college and hospital.MethodIn total, 343 consecutive adults with persistent throat pain and/or irritation (duration ≥3 months) were screened for known causes of pharyngitis by a thorough clinical and endoscopic examination. In 71 patients, the evaluation performed was unable to determine any cause, and these were considered cases. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test to detect IgA and IgG antibodies to C pneumoniae and M pneumoniae was performed on 66 of these cases and 62 controls. The posterior pharyngeal swabs taken from both the cases and controls were subjected to aerobic and anaerobic culture.
Results Individuals with chronic pharyngitis had a 3.43 times odds of being seropositive for C pneumoniae as compared with controls (P = .001; odds ratio = 3.43). Aerobic organisms and M pneumoniae did not seem to be significant etiological agents for chronic pharyngitis. On the contrary, isolation of Fusobacterium spp was found to be significantly more in controls as compared with cases.
ConclusionThis study suggests an association between IgA antibodies to C pneumoniae and chronic pharyngitis. Further studies using more specific tests combined with long-term follow-up are needed to confirm these findings.