Monday 14 December 2015

Melanized (black) fungal contamination in pharmaceutical products

A review of melanized (black) fungal contamination in pharmaceutical products—incidence, drug recall and control measures – is a new review article by R. Vijayakumar, M. Saleh Al-Aboody and Tim Sandle.

The article summary is:

The aim of this study was to describe the incidence of contamination of pharmaceutical products by melanized fungi and to consider control measures in relation to bioburden and cleanrooms. This study reviews and analyses pharmaceutical product recalls and offers incidence rates of fungal detection from a typical cleanrooms. The recalls include some serious cases which resulted in the loss of life. Of different types of fungal contamination incidences some of the most damaging have been due to melanized fungi (‘black mould’), such as Exserohilum rostratum. The focus of the article is with melanized fungi. The study concludes that, from the review of recent pharmaceutical product recalls, fungal contamination is either increasingly common within cleanroom environments or the accuracy of sampling and the level of reporting has risen. The prevalence of melanized fungi in pharmaceutical facilities rests on specific virulence factors particular to these types of fungi, which are outlined. The article identifies a gap in the way that such fungi are screened for using available cultural methods. The article provides some control strategies, including assessing the suitability of disinfectants and biocides, for reducing the risk of melanized fungal incidences within the pharmaceutical facility. Understanding the fungal risk to pharmaceutical products remains a poorly understood and often overlooked aspect of pharmaceutical microbiology. This article helps to identify this risk and offer some guidance to those involved with pharmaceutical products manufacture in relation to bio-contamination control strategies.

The reference is:

Vijayakumar, R., Saleh Al-Aboody, M. and Sandle, T. (2015) A review of melanized (black) fungal contamination in pharmaceutical products—incidence, drug recall and control measures, Journal of Applied Microbiology, Accepted Article: doi:10.1111/jam.12888

For further details, please contact Tim Sandle


Posted by Tim Sandle

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