ANTIMICROBIAL SUSCEPTIBILITY OF COMMON PATHOGENS ISOLATED FROM PAEDIATRIC COUGH SYRUPS IN PORT HARCOURT METROPOLIS, NIGERIA
Nkechi Obiofu Ezenobi*, Hanson Ige Ogbu and Dumle T. Kpea
The presence of unwanted microbes or their metabolites in pharmaceutical products especially syrups are rapidly
becoming a matter of public health concern worldwide. Patients being treated with these contaminated syrups can
have secondary infection from the pathogenic microorganisms which may complicate the treatment procedure
since syrups are mostly administered to children whose immune systems are not well developed. Hence this study
was conducted to determine the susceptibility of common pathogens isolated from cough syrups sold in Port
Harcourt metropolis. A total of fifty cough syrups were randomly purchased from approved pharmacy outlets
within Port Harcourt metropolis and subjected to macroscopic assessment, isolation, characterization, pH, stability
as well as susceptibility-resistance test of isolates using standard techniques. The result indicated that 70% of the
cough syrup did not show growth while 30% of the syrups were contaminated with microorganisms which were
above the acceptable limit (<102 and <101 CFU/mL for bacteria and fungi respectively) as specified by the USP.
The major contaminants in the cough syrup were Staphylococcus aureus (35.29%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa
(29.43%), Escherichia coli (11.76%), Candida albicans (11.76%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (5.88%) and Proteus
species (5.88%). The pH value of the cough syrups ranged from 2.76 to 7.40, hence, 96% of the syrups were acidic.
For the stability test, 4 out of the 50 samples failed the test. The antibiotic susceptibility testing showed that the
isolates had single and multiple drug resistance patterns to the antibiotics used, hence the existence of pathogenic
microorganisms in the syrups poses serious health problem to the consumers. A routine microbiological study of
these drugs is thus suggested along with good manufacturing practice.
Keywords: Antimicrobial, Susceptibility, Contamination, Pathogens, Paediatric, Cough Syrup.
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