AccScience Publishing / ITPS / Volume 6 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/itps.0425
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Evaluation of the microbial quality of commercial liquid herbal preparations on the Ghanaian market

Christina Osei-Asare1 Frederick William Akuffo Owusu2* John Antwi Apenteng3 Philomena Entsie4 Ofosua Adi-Dako5 Doris Kumadoh6 Amanda Voado1 Esther Aloni1 Yaa Asantewaa Osei1
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1 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Central University, Miotso, Ghana
2 Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
3 Department of Microbiology, School of Pharmacy, Central University, Miotso, Ghana
4 Department of Herbal Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
5 Department of Pharmaceutics and Microbiology, School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana
6 Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Akuapem-Mampong, Ghana
INNOSC Theranostics and Pharmacological Sciences 2023, 6(2), 0425
Submitted: 12 April 2023 | Accepted: 17 July 2023 | Published: 9 August 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

Conventionally, the microorganisms in liquid herbal mixtures are curtailed due to the fresh preparation before the administration to patients. Prolonged storage of liquid herbal preparations (due to commercialization) coupled with primeval routine production processes may increase the potential of microbial contamination in liquid herbal preparations. This study aims to analyze the microbial quality of 15 selected commercial liquid herbal preparations on the Ghanaian market. The samples were obtained from accredited pharmacies and herbal outlets in the Greater Accra region of Ghana, specifically Central Accra, between November 2019 and January 2020. The selected samples were coded HM1 to HM15. The effectiveness of the primary package of all samples was determined using the seal integrity test. The presence of microorganisms in the sampled brands was determined using nutrient agar. Isolated microorganisms from the sampled herbal mixtures were then identified using various selective media. All 15 samples (100%) passed the seal integrity test. Ten (67%) out of the 15 samples were contaminated with various microorganisms, whereas the remaining 5 samples (33%) were devoid of microorganisms. Eight (53%) out of the 15 samples were contaminated with fungi, with 3 (20%) being above the pharmacopeial limit. Six (40%) out of the 15 samples showed the presence of Escherichia coli. Out of the 15 sampled products, only HM11 contained Staphylococcus aureus. Similarly, only one sampled product (HM15) contained Salmonella typhi. None of the sampled products was contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ultimately, this study revealed that commercialized liquid herbal preparations in Ghana are likely to be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. Good manufacturing practices must therefore be strictly adhered to bring out the best in local herbal manufacturing industries.

Herbal medicines
Microbial quality
Good manufacturing practices
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
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INNOSC Theranostics and Pharmacological Sciences, Electronic ISSN: 2705-0823 Published by AccScience Publishing