Tonsillitis is a common condition in children that involves inflammation of the tonsils, which are two small glands located in the back of the throat. Tonsillitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria and is often characterized by symptoms such as sore throat, fever, difficulty swallowing, and swollen glands in the neck.
Recurrent tonsillitis, defined as multiple episodes of tonsillitis within a year, can be particularly problematic for children, as it can lead to missed school days and a decreased quality of life. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat tonsillitis, but their impact on the tonsillar microbiome, or the bacterial communities that inhabit the tonsils, is not well understood. A clinical trial was conducted to determine how antibiotics affect the tonsillar microbiome.
The trial was conducted in Auckland, New Zealand, and involved 60 children who were scheduled to have their tonsils removed due to recurrent tonsillitis. Half of the participants were given amoxicillin with clavulanate, a type of antibiotic, for one week before the surgery, while the other half did not receive any antibiotics.
After the surgery, the researchers swabbed the tonsils and analyzed the bacterial composition using a technique called 16S rRNA gene-targeted amplicon sequencing. They found that the bacterial composition was different between the two groups. The children who had received antibiotics had a higher abundance of certain bacteria, such as Fusobacterium and Treponema, while those who did not receive antibiotics had a higher abundance of other bacteria, such as Haemophilus, Streptococcus, Neisseria, and Porphyromonas.