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Microbiology - Articles and news items
Increasing numbers of pharmaceutical companies are considering outsourcing in the area of analytical and microbiological testing, from the very smallest start-up, virtual, or small company up to the largest multinational. This article will examine the factors that lead to a company deciding to outsource, and provides invaluable guidance on the important considerations that should be made before, during and after the outsourcing process in order to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible…
Several years ago, microbiologist Guenther Gapp created a new sterile risk assessment tool (based on a hazard operability analysis [HAZOP] approach) to identify and reduce the microbial contamination and compliance risk of aseptically-produced sterile products and production plants. The following article describes the operating principle of three risk analysis tools with a special focus on the revised 2015 edition. This latest edition incorporates the improvements that have been implemented in recent years, which make the tool more applicable and thus valuable for the user…
Issue 1 2015 / 10 March 2015 / Tony Cundell, Consulting Microbiologist, Scarsdale
Aqueous, multiple-use, non-sterile drug products are susceptible to microbial contamination during their shelf life. To protect these products from this potential hazard to patients, they are formulated with antimicrobial preservatives. Other product attributes employed using the hurdle concept to prevent microbial contamination include: low pH, low redox potential, reduced storage temperature, packaging that protects the product and low water activity. Water activity, or Aw, is a measure of available water and when applied to a non-sterile pharmaceutical drug products is a critical physical attribute that determines whether the product will support the growth of microorganisms. Given the knowledge of the minimum water activity for the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold, the microbial stability of a drug product can be determined. This knowledge can be used to set risk-based microbial specification and release and stability testing programs for different dosage forms. This review article will discuss the role of reduced water activity in imparting microbial stability to non-sterile drug products…
Microbiology / RMMs, Webinars / 15 December 2014 / Scott Sutton Ph.D. - President of Pharmaceutical Microbiology Forum & Owner of The Microbiology Network & Dr. Yongqiang Zhang - Senior Scientist at BD Diagnostics
Discussion on how a rapid method can provide a solution to a common microbiological testing problem for pharmaceutical manufacturers – process water microbiology testing.
In this free-to-view in-depth focus: How to deal with non-sterile results in aseptic processing, Risk Profiling and Proactive Response (RPPR) to Bio-contamination in GMP classified and controlled areas, Microbiology Roundtable…
Merck Millipore congratulates winner of the Alice C. Evans Award for Leadership in Clinical Microbiology
Supplier news / 20 May 2014 / Merck
Merck Millipore announced that Bonnie Bassler, Ph.D., Squibb Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, has won the 2014 Merck Millipore Alice C. Evans Award for Leadership in Clinical Microbiology…
Issue 2 2014, Microbiology / RMMs / 15 April 2014 / Joshua Boateng and Harshavardhan Pawar, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemical and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Greenwich
Antimicrobial drugs form a significant aspect of disease therapy and are a major means of treating bacterial, fungal and viral infections. The issue of antimicrobial therapy is of current interest and clinical concern. This is mainly due to two key reasons; (i) persistent emergence of microbial resistant strains and (ii) the significant reduction in the rate of successful discovery new generations of more potent antibiotics to combat this resistance epidemic (especially in bacteria).
Any pharmaceutical product, whether manufactured in the hospital or industrial environment, has the potential to be contaminated with microorganisms. With sterile products, any microbial contamination presents an unacceptable risk; with non-sterile products, the implication of the contamination is dependent upon whether the microorganism can be considered ‘objectionable’, and then to the extent that it can cause patient harm (and here a risk assessment is ordinarily required).
Invasive fungal infections associated with high mortality rates are common in hospital settings, especially in intensive care units where patients may be immune-compromised, subject to invasive procedures and treated aggressively with antibiotics. The most common nosocomial fungal infections in descending order are due to the genera Candida, Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Fusarium and other less frequently isolated moulds. Usually the fungi are passed on from the hands of medical personnel, the indigenous microflora of the patient or the general hospital environment but occasionally pharmaceutical drug products and medical devices are implicated…
Issue 5 2013, Microbiology / RMMs / 22 October 2013 / Michael J. Miller, President, Microbiology Consultants, LLC and Suzan Mohammed Ragheb, Department of Biotechnology, The Nile Company for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries
Rapid microbiological methods (RMM) have gained popularity and acceptance within a number of industry sectors, including food and beverages, diagnostics, environmental, personal care and pharmaceuticals. In recent years, many firms have successfully validated and implemented RMMs for a wide variety of applications. However, many geographic areas around the world still have not benefited from the advantages that RMMs afford, most notably the time to result for critical microbiological analyses. This is particularly true for clinical diagnostics and the detection of foodborne pathogens in developing countries.
The Encyclopedia of Rapid Microbiological Methods: The new fourth volume discusses technologies, regulatory acceptance and validation case studies
This is the second paper in our continuing series on Rapid Microbiological Methods (RMM) that will appear in European Pharmaceutical Review during 2013. As the editor for the Encyclopedia of Rapid Microbiological Methods, I provide a summary of the latest volume, which was published earlier this year. New case studies, regulatory guidance and novel technologies are highlighted, and encourage our industry to adopt new ways of performing microbiology assays across a wide range of applications.
For sterile as well as nonsterile pharmaceutical products, manufacturers must eliminate or minimise potential risks to patients as well as product quality. While many contributing factors may affect the quality of a medicine or its ingredients, microbial contamination control and proper sterilisation methods are critical considerations for the manufacturer throughout the product’s life cycle.
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