Microbial contamination in herbal medicines available in Bangladesh
Plants have long been used as herbal medicines in many countries. However, microbial contamination of these medicines may affect human health. Present study was performed to assess the pathogenic proliferation in the locally available commercial herbal oral medicines. The pathogenic load was compared with the microbiological standard given by the British Pharmacopoeia. Out of 85 oral liquid samples, 2 were found to be highly contaminated with a total aerobic bacterial load of 1.24×105 cfu/ml, 10 samples were contaminated with fungi (1.2×104-6.3×104 cfu/ml). Tests for specific pathogens were carried out. One sample showed contamination by coliforms but none of the samples were contaminated by Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. Among 40 semisolid samples, one showed to be contaminated with bacteria (1.93×105 cfu/g) and 5 samples consisted of fungal load ranging between 1.5×104-2.2×104 cfu/g. The presence of bacteria and fungi in these samples thus suggest the fact that aseptic handling is necessary during processing of oral herbal medicines.
Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2013; 39: 124-129
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