CASE REPORT PATHOLOGY/BIOLOGY
Characterization of Microorganisms Isolated from Counterfeit Toothpaste
Article first published online: 17 APR 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 5, pages 1365–1367, September 2012
How to Cite
Brzezinski, J. L. and Craft, D. L. (2012), Characterization of Microorganisms Isolated from Counterfeit Toothpaste. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 1365–1367. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02130.x
- Issue published online: 5 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 17 APR 2012
- Received 17 Mar. 2011; and in revised form 5 July 2011; accepted 19 July 2011.
- forensic science;
- counterfeit drug;
Abstract: The appearance of potentially counterfeit “Colgate” toothpaste on the American market prompted a criminal investigation by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including the collection of c. 60,000 tubes of toothpaste from retail outlets and product distributors. Microbiological testing was performed based on the FDA Bacteriological Analytical Manual, which determined the presence and number of bacteria present in the products. Bacteria were isolated from each “Colgate” variety; up to 2 × 106 cfu/g were isolated from some of the product units. Using conventional microscopic and biochemical bacterial identification methods, most of the bacteria isolated from these samples were Gram-negative rods of several genera, including Pseudomonas, Serratia, and Klebsiella. Most of the organisms isolated represent opportunistic pathogens, and therefore, counterfeit “Colgate” toothpaste containing high levels of bacteria pose a human health hazard.