Biofilms contribute to Pseudomonas aeruginosa persistence in a variety of diseases, including cystic fibrosis, burn wounds, and chronic suppurative otitis media. However, few studies have directly addressed P. aeruginosa biofilms in vivo. We used a chinchilla model of otitis media, which has previously been used to study persistent Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae infections, to show that structures formed in vivo are biofilms of bacterial and host origin within a matrix that includes Psl, a P. aeruginosa biofilm polysaccharide. We evaluated three biofilm and/or virulence mediators of P. aeruginosa known to affect biofilm formation in vitro and pathogenesis in vivo-bis-(3',5')-cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP), flagella, and quorum sensing-in a chinchilla model. We show that c-di-GMP overproduction has a positive impact on bacterial persistence, while quorum sensing increases virulence. We found no difference in persistence attributed to flagella. We conclude from these studies that a chinchilla otitis media model provides a means to evaluate pathogenic mediators of P. aeruginosa and that in vitro phenotypes should be examined in multiple infection systems to fully understand their role in disease. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.