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Lookup NU author(s): Jason PowellORCiD,
Emerita Professor Janet WilsonORCiD
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Objectives: To perform a multifactorial exploration of the aetiology of peritonsillar abscess (PTA) in adults, in order to develop greater clinical understanding of the condition and improve management. Design: A literature review exploring key pathogens, predisposing host factors and current pathogenic hypotheses. Methods: A PubMed search for articles published between January 1980 and January 2012 using the terms 'peritonsillar abscess AND microbiology', 'peritonsillar abscess AND pathophysiology' and 'peritonsillar abscess AND etiology'. Results: Major pathogens in PTA are opportunistic microflora. Group A streptococcal PTA infections present differently from polymicrobial PTA. A number of host factors influence the conditions required for the pathogenesis of PTA. Conclusions: PTA is clinically distinct from acute tonsillitis and occurs in people with a chronic underlying susceptibility. Targeting host factors, including oral hygiene, antibiotic use and smoking, may prevent PTA. Re-education of clinicians concerning the aetiology of PTA is necessary for appropriate disease management.
Author(s): Powell EL, Powell J, Samuel JR, Wilson JA
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Print publication date: 23/04/2013
ISSN (print): 0305-7453
ISSN (electronic): 1460-2091
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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