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Molecular Diagnosis of Microbial Contamination in Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical Products: A Review

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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°C while yeast and mold DNA were extracted using a Tris-EDTA–SDS buffer at 95°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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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MicroChem2000, 260 Prospect Ave, Apt 359, Hackensack, NJ 07601.

Publication date: 2001-05-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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