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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2013 Sep;61(9):523-5. doi: 10.4103/0301-4738.119455.

Growth of Scytalidium sp. in a counterfeit bevacizumab bottle.

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Department of Retina, Asociacion para Evitar la Ceguera en Mexico, Mexico.


After drawing a dose from an closed bevacizumab (Avastin) bottle, a fungus-like foreign body was observed inside. Samples from the vial were cultured in Sabouraud Emmons media. Growth of multiple light brown colonies with dark pigment was observed after 10 days. The species was identified as Scytalidium sp.Vial, analysis reported that the seal was lacking proper identification measures and that the label, batch number and expiry date did not correspond to a genuine product. Chemical analysis showed no protein, but 3% of polyethylene glycol, citrate and ethanol. Counterfeit bevacizumab is a real situation that poses a significant risk for ophthalmology and oncology patients. The medical community should be aware of this situation in order to enforce adequate preventive measures.

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