• Alysa Salzberg

Could bacteria be the cure for chronic sinusitis?

Anyone who’s suffered sinus headaches knows they’re no joke. Painful and hard to treat, these headaches, as well as other sinus-related symptoms, are a chronic condition for 1 in 8 people in the US alone.


Now, there’s some good news. Sarah Lebeer, a microbiology and biotechnology professor at the University of Antwerp, has found a possible treatment and cure for chronic sinusitis, and if it works, it likely won’t involve any side effects.


After studying the impact of probiotics on other parts of the body, Lebeer began to wonder about the biome of the nose. She and her team discovered that there seems to be a particular strain of bacteria, dubbed L. casei AMBR2, in the noses of people who don’t have sinus problems.


They were able to isolate and study L. casei AMBR2, and then incorporate it into a nose spray, which was used by volunteers with chronic sinusitis.


Although we don’t know the long-term effects yet, there’s already some good news: while the nose often expels foreign bacteria within 15 minutes, the subjects’ noses still had this healthy, potentially sinusitis-fighting bacteria in them two weeks later.


Although the spray will have to undergo further testing, this is a light of hope for sinusitis sufferers.


Read on to learn more about the sinus bacteria study and its promising results.



L. casei AMBR2, seen through an electron microscope

Image source




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