Xylitol enhances bacterial killing in the rabbit maxillary sinus

Christopher L. Brown, Scott M. Graham*, Benjamin B. Cable, Egon A. Ozer, Peter J. Taft, Joseph Zabner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objectives: Factors that alter airway surface liquid (ASL) ionic concentrations may influence the course of sinusitis. Xylitol lias been shown to effect ASL ionic composition in vitro and to reduce nasal bacterial carriage, otitis media, and dental caries in vivo. We examined the effect of xylitol on experimental sinusitis in the rabbit model. Study Design: Prospective randomized controlled study of xylitol, saline, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa administration to the rabbit maxillary sinus. Methods: P. aeruginosa was administered to the sinuses of 26 New Zealand white rabbits. Saline was placed in the left maxillary sinus and xylitol in the right. The rabbits were randomly assigned to one of three groups: one, simultaneous administration of bacteria and solutions with bacterial analysis at 20 minutes, 11 rabbits; two, preadministration of solutions 1 hour before bacterial infection with analysis at 20 minutes, 11 rabbits; three, established sinusitis, 4 rabbits had daily injections of solutions for 5 days starting 7 days after P. aeruginosa administration. Results: In group 1, 6.96% of injected bacteria were retrieved on the left (saline), whereas 0.095% were retrieved on the right (xylitol) (P = .034). In group 2, 5.64% of inoculum was recovered from the left and 2.89% from the right (P = .188). Group 3 demonstrated evidence of sinusitis with recovery of noninoculate bacteria, with no difference between right and left. Conclusions: Xylitol reduces experimental sinusitis when administered simultaneously with bacteria. Its effect in established sinusitis is less clear. A role may exist for xylitol in nasal irrigation fluid in human disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2021-2024
Number of pages4
Issue number11 I
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Rabbit
  • Sinusitis
  • Xylitol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Xylitol enhances bacterial killing in the rabbit maxillary sinus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this