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Comparative Effectiveness of Certain Antimicrobial Agents in Semi Solid Preparations

IO Aremu
OH Badru
OA Oyemade


Cosmetics and topical products need not be sterile but may contain low
levels of microbial load during use. This study was conducted to determine effectiveness of antimicrobial preservation during storage life of preparations and particularly the suitability of such preservative in terms of safety and broad spectrum activity. In this study, six formulations of both aqueous and oily cream were prepared under laboratory conditions. Four of these preparations were prepared with either methyl parahydroxybenzoate or chlorocresol as preservative. The remaining two formulations, aqueous and oily creams were without preservative serving as control preparations. All the formulations were subjected to microbial qualitative screening, 24 – 48 hours after formulation. Thereafter, the formulations were challenged with
bacteria inocula, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphlococcus aureus (1 x103 and Candida albicans (1 x 102 moulds/g/ml). The result shows that there was initial contamination of the control formulations without preservative (P03 and P04) and oily cream preparation with chlorocresol preservative (P06) with Proteus spp, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albricans respectively. Also subjecting the data to statistical inference, (P < 0.05) in each instance, it was found out that the preservatives used had significant effect on the reduction of bacteria and fungi over a period of 28 days of study. Also there was observed statistically significant difference in the preservative capacity of the antimicrobial agents used.The order of effectiveness is chlorocresol>methylparahydroxylbenzoate. It can be concluded that preservatives used in topical formulations should be thoroughly evaluated to ensure effectiveness. In some instances, reinforcement may be necessary to confer synergy.