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Gram Staining for the Treatment of Peritonsillar Abscess

DOI: 10.1155/2012/464973

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Abstract:

Objective. To examine whether Gram staining can influence the choice of antibiotic for the treatment of peritonsillar abscess. Methods. Between 2005 and 2009, a total of 57 cases of peritonsillar abscess were analyzed with regard to cultured bacteria and Gram staining. Results. Only aerobes were cultured in 16% of cases, and only anaerobes were cultured in 51% of cases. Mixed growth of aerobes and anaerobes was observed in 21% of cases. The cultured bacteria were mainly aerobic Streptococcus, anaerobic Gram-positive cocci, and anaerobic Gram-negative rods. Phagocytosis of bacteria on Gram staining was observed in 9 cases. The bacteria cultured from these cases were aerobic Streptococcus, anaerobic Gram-positive cocci, and anaerobic Gram-negative rods. The sensitivity of Gram staining for the Gram-positive cocci and Gram-negative rods was 90% and 64%, respectively. The specificity of Gram staining for the Gram-positive cocci and Gram-negative rods was 62% and 76%, respectively. Most of the Gram-positive cocci were sensitive to penicillin, but some of anaerobic Gram-negative rods were resistant to penicillin. Conclusion. When Gram staining shows only Gram-positive cocci, penicillin is the treatment of choice. In other cases, antibiotics effective for the penicillin-resistant organisms should be used.

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