Isolation and characterization of the environmental bacterial and fungi contamination in a pharmaceutical unit of mesenchymal stem cell for clinical use

Patricia Gálvez Martín, María Bermejo González, Adolfina Ruiz Martínez, Visitación Gallardo Lara, Beatriz Clares Naveros
Biologicals: Journal of the International Association of Biological Standardization 2012, 40 (5): 330-7
Design and implementation of an environmental monitoring program is vital to assure the maintenance of acceptable quality conditions in a pharmaceutical manufacturing unit of human mesenchymal stem cells. Since sterility testing methods require 14 days and these cells are only viable for several hours, they are currently administered without the result of this test. Consequently environmental monitoring is a key element in stem cell banks for assuring low levels of potential introduction of contaminants into the cell products. The aim of this study was to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze the environmental microbiological quality in a pharmaceutical manufacturing unit of human mesenchymal stem cells production for use in advanced therapies. Two hundred and sixty one points were tested monthly during one year, 156 from air and 105 from surfaces. Among the 6264 samples tested, 231 showed contamination, 76.6% for bacteria and 23.4% for fungi. Microbial genuses isolated were Staphylococcus (89.7%), Microccocus (4.5%), Kocuria (3.2%) and Bacillus (2.6%). In the identification of fungi, three genuses were detected: Aspergillus (56%), Penicillium (26%) and Cladosporium (18%). The origin of the contamination was found to be due to personnel manipulation and air microbiota. For all sampling methods, alert limits were set and corrective measures suggested.

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