Physicians may someday be able to use a simple taste test to predict which surgical intervention is best suited to help a subset of chronic rhinosinusitis patients, according to researchers at The Monell Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Genetic analysis and behavioral tests provided information about a bitter taste receptor known as T2R38 and its underlying gene, called TAS2R38.

The researchers have demonstrated that the same variations in the TAS2R38 gene that underlie taste sensitivity also are linked to the ability of upper respiratory cells to fight off certain upper respiratory infections. Specifically, people having the taste sensitive PAV variant are better able to combat airway bacteria and are less likely to develop severe CRS that necessitates medical intervention.