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PDA J Pharm Sci Technol. 2002 Nov-Dec;56(6):300-11.

Development of the antimicrobial effectiveness test as USP chapter <51>.

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Alcon Laboratories, Fort Worth, TX, USA.


The antimicrobial effectiveness test first appeared as a USP General Chapter in the 18th revision, official September 1, 1970. This chapter, at the beginning, was designed to evaluate the performance of antimicrobials added to inhibit the growth of microorganisms that might be introduced during or subsequent to the manufacturing process. As Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) became a governing principal in pharmaceutical manufacturing, the purpose of the test was refined to focus on activity of the preservative system as a protection against inadvertent contamination during storage and usage of the product. This article will review the history of the antimicrobial test; its function, technique, and the background discussions that resulted in the changes from the test that appeared in USP XVIII to that of the current USP 25.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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