Monday 27 January 2014

Environmental monitoring: psychrophilic and psychrotolerant microorganisms

The purpose of microbiological environmental monitoring is to assess the microbial quality of the cleanroom. Most environmental monitoring is traditionally focused upon the examination of mesophilic micro-organisms. There has been a regulatory shift towards requesting monitoring data concerning micro-organisms with optimal growth rates that fall outside of mesophilic conditions (what might be called extremophiles: micro-organism requiring severe conditions for growth as defined by extremes of temperature, pH, chemical oxidizing agents, hypersalinity or certain types of ultraviolet light).

In particular, regulatory agencies have enquired about the possibility of micro-organisms that can tolerate cold conditions (psychrotolerant) or that will only grow in cold conditions (psychrophilic) being present within cold room environments.

To assess this, Tim Sandle and Kerry Skinner have undertaken research to examine the likelihood and recovery of psychrophilic and psychrotolerant micro-organisms within pharmaceutical manufacturing environments.

The research has been published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.  The abstract reads:

“Psychrophilic micro-organisms were not detected and those considered to be psychrotolerant were only found in low numbers. Pyschrotolerant organisms were recovered under both low temperature incubation conditions and under standard conditions (between 20 and 35°C). Further evaluation may be required, using alternative agar, and microbiologists should regularly review the species recovered to note differences between different environments.”

The reference is:

Sandle, T. and Skinner, K. (2013). Study of psychrophilic and psychrotolerant microorganisms isolated in cold rooms used for pharmaceutical processing, Journal of Applied Microbiology, doi:10.1111/jam.12101

For further details see PubMed or BioNity

Posted by Tim Sandle

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