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J AOAC Int. 2001 May-Jun;84(3):671-5.

Molecular diagnosis of microbial contamination in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products: a review.

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  • 1MicroChem2000, Hackensack, NJ 07601, USA.


Molecular methodologies such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays provide rapid quality control analysis of cosmetic and pharmaceutical finished products and raw materials. Using a single enrichment broth for bacteria, yeast, and mold, ATP bioluminescence detected microbial contamination within 27 h. Samples were automatically lysed to release microbial ATP and light production was quantitated using the Celsis Optocomp. However, to maintain the detection time to within 27 h, different enrichment broths were required for neutralization of antimicrobial ingredients in finished products and to provide specific nutrients for growth optimization. To perform the PCR reaction, bacterial DNA was extracted using a Tris-EDTA-Tween 20-proteinase K buffer at 35 degrees C while yeast and mold DNA were extracted using a Tris-EDTA-SDS buffer at 95 degrees C. Extracted microbial DNA was added to Ready-To-Go PCR beads and specific DNA primers. The primers were targeted to amplify specific regions within Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Burkholderia cepacia, Candida albicans, and Aspergillus niger. Furthermore, conserved bacterial ribosomal DNA sequences have also been used for sterility testing of samples. The results from these studies indicate that both ATP bioluminescence and PCR assays provide rapid, reliable, and cost effective methods for quality evaluation. This will ultimately result in faster product release and production optimization.

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