The Role of Microbiology in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Put simply, microbiology entails the study of microorganisms that one can’t see with the naked eye. These are from bacteria, fungi, protozoa and such similar organisms. There is an intricate association between microbes to specific diseases. This has kept scientists at the front on research concerning them for centuries. The role of microbiology on advances within the healthcare industry, and especially the pharmaceutical industry, has led to great discoveries ranging from medicines and vaccines to devices.

What Happens Within Us

The understanding of various principles of microbiology in relation to the mechanisms of human cells enables pharmacists to discover the crucial antimicrobial drugs. These are responsible for the prevention of a colossal number of communicable diseases.

Naturally, our body cells fight microbes that find their way into us. Many may have witnessed this through formation of pus and wound inflammation. The human immune system’s macrophages have the capability of ingesting the microbes that penetrate into the body via wounds. Microbes, once in the body, could adapt and mutate at alarming rates. The resultant of this is opportunistic diseases, as occurs with HIV. However they are not all harmful. We couldn’t do without some – such as the lactobacillus bacteria within our digestive systems.

What the Microbiologists Do

The pharmacists and microbiologists work hand in hand, complementing each other, to ensure that the drug therapies created target the disease-causing microbes without bringing harm to the human host. Microbiologists are also involved in the microbial testing for contamination based on specification limits. Other work instances include the production of vaccines for live cultures, performing sterility testing, environmental monitoring and in-processing checks among others.

For Medical Devices 

Microbiology plays a significant role in the design and manufacture of medical devices. Take for instance, fluorescent fusion. This is a technology for the carrying out of immunofluorescence studies. These advancements in technology are used for pathogen detection in tissue samples. They make the process both fast and precise. This technology can also be applied for finding specific cells within complex biological systems.

The Safety of Medicines and Vaccines 

Drug safety is a key point of focus in pharmaceutical industries. The pathogenic yeasts, bacteria, molds, and toxins among others, which are produced by the microbes, are all potential contaminants of medicines. The microbiologists ensure stringent and regulated processes to ensure there are as minimal risks as possible.

However, what happens if there is the unfortunate event of a contamination? Another key focus point of pharmaceutical microbiology is the determination of a product’s reaction in the case of a contamination. The product undergoes ‘challenges’ from specified amounts of microbes and consequent anti-bacterial activity is monitored. The microbiologists also validate disinfectants, evaluating their efficacy in suspension, whilst on surfaces and through field trials.

As such, they provide the crucial microbiology quality assurance and control solutions. This is through the development of devices for microbiological testing and rapid detection systems. Safety is key and pharmaceutical products released should have undergone thorough, research, scrutiny and testing. That’s one of the key activities microbiologists carry out within the pharmaceutical industry, among their numerous other roles.

Learn more about microbiology quality assurance and pharmaceutical microbiology by contacting Biolumix.

928 Varsity Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: (734) 984-3100
Fax: 734-222-1830

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