DEFINITION OF PHARMACEUTICAL MICROBIOLOGY

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Pharmaceutical microbiology is the branch of microbiology that focuses on all aspects of pharmacy especially as it relates to the manufacture and quality control of pharmaceuticals and other biological agents such as antibiotics, vaccines, and medical devices. It is an applied branch of microbiology that focuses on the study of microorganisms that are directly or indirectly involved in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products. Pharmaceutical microbiologists ensure that starting raw materials for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals including water are sterile enough and free from any form of contaminating microorganisms. They carry out series of tests on starting materials for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals as well as test the finished products to ensure their safety and efficacy in treating the ailments they are intended for.

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Pharmaceutical microbiologists focus heavily on quality control to ensure a supply of life-saving drugs, vaccines and other biological that are free from contamination by microorganisms. Microbiological applications are tremendously applied in the pharmaceutical industry to produce a wide range of products including hormones, antibiotics, water for injections, and steroids – which are used for the treatment and management of both infectious and non-communicable diseases. Irrespective of the suffering of patients due to infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms, healthcare delivery has tremendously improved worldwide owing to the availability of effective medicines and vaccines with which to treat and prevent these diseases. Pharmaceutical microbiologists has contributed significantly in quality healthcare delivery across the world especially in the area of producing, testing, and delivering novel biological and medications for the effective management and treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases globally. 

Pharmaceutical companies around the world are investing heavily in research and development (R&D); and they are also in high demand for pharmaceutical microbiologists due to the relevance of this branch of microbiology in the manufacture of safe, effective and good-quality drugs. Pharmaceutical microbiology also deals with the controlling of microorganisms that cause spoilage of pharmaceutical products, and this area of microbiology is also keenly interested in harnessing the metabolic activities of microorganisms to develop novel and potent medicines and other pharmaceuticals for the healthcare sector. This branch of microbiology is a burgeoning area in the biological sciences due to its importance to not just the health and pharmaceutical sector, but also the central role that it plays in ensuring the improvement of world health and disease prevention. The production of novel antimicrobial agents from herbal plants and other natural products are also the subject of pharmaceutical microbiology.        

FURTHER READING

Ashutosh Kar (2008). Pharmaceutical Microbiology, 1st edition. New Age International Publishers: New Delhi, India. 

Block S.S (2001). Disinfection, sterilization and preservation. 5th edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia and London.

Courvalin P, Leclercq R and Rice L.B (2010). Antibiogram. ESKA Publishing, ASM Press, Canada.

Denyer S.P., Hodges N.A and Gorman S.P (2004). Hugo & Russell’s Pharmaceutical Microbiology. 7th ed. Blackwell Publishing Company, USA. Pp.152-172.

Ejikeugwu Chika, Iroha Ifeanyichukwu, Adikwu Michael and Esimone Charles (2013). Susceptibility and Detection of Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase Enzymes from Otitis Media Pathogens. American Journal of Infectious Diseases. 9(1):24-29.

Finch R.G, Greenwood D, Norrby R and Whitley R (2002). Antibiotic and chemotherapy, 8th edition. Churchill Livingstone, London and Edinburg.

Russell A.D and Chopra I (1996). Understanding antibacterial action and resistance. 2nd edition. Ellis Horwood Publishers, New York, USA.

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