Microbiological quality assessment of some drugs on the Ghanaian market

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Pharmaceutical products may be found to contain micro-organisms. Some of these are responsible for the spoilage of the products while others may cause infections in consumers. In this study samples of drugs collected from various pharmacies and licensed chemical shops in Kumasi were tested for the presence of micro-organisms. The study involved 161 samples made up of 102 liquid preparations and 59 tablet samples. It was found that 45.3 4% of all the drugs tested were contaminated. 15.53% had bacteria while 7.50% had fungi as sole contaminants. 22.36% had both bacteria and fungi. 41.18% of the liquid preparations and 52.54% of the tablet samples were contaminated. The organisms isolated included coagulase positive and coagulase negative staphylococci, salmonellae, E. coli and other enterobacteria, anaerobic bacteria, moulds and yeast-like fungi. Some of these organisms occurred together in the same product while others were found as sole contaminants. Pseudomonads were absent from all the products. All the contaminated liquid products were locally manufactured while both the locl1y manufactured and the imported tablets had contaminants. The study showed that some of the products on the market are not acceptable due to their poor microbial quality. These included products that had harmful organisms and those with aerobic viable counts in excess of the acceptable limit of 5x103 cfu/ml or g. In all 20 50% of all the products failed the tests.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Pharmacy, 1998