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Wednesday, September 16, 2020Publications

BfR alerts on the presence of the Pluralibacter gergoviae bacteria in cosmetics

Le BfR alerte sur la présence de la bactérie Pluralibacter gergoviae dans les cosmétiques

On 7 September 2020, the BfR (German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) published an Opinion in which it assesses the potential health risks of cosmetic products contaminated by the Pluralibacter (P.) gergoviae bacteria. Conclusion: P. gergoviae can be pathogenic, especially for certain sensitive consumer groups, and should not be found in cosmetic products.

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In this Opinion the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) assessed the potential health risks of topically (externally) applied cosmetic products contaminated with Pluralibacter (P.) gergoviae (ex-Enterobacter gergoviae).

Potential hazard assessment

Bacteria of the genera Enterobacter and Pluralibacter belong to the family Enterobacteriacae. It is a group of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria. They belong to the normal intestinal flora, but are ubiquitously distributed and have been found in stool or faeces samples of humans and animals, in plants and plant material, in water, in insects and in dairy products. P. gergoviae are facultatively pathogenic. Especially persons with weakened immune system, people suffering from a chronic illnesses, surgical patients or other sensitive groups are at risk.
It is known that P. gergoviae bacteria developped a natural resistance against parabens and other biocides. P. gergoviae may show decreased susceptibility to preservatives so that survival or growth in cosmetic products is possible.

Infections with P. gergoviae have been described in connection with respiratory diseases, urinary tract infections, endophthalmitis (an infection of the inside of the eye) and blood poisoning.
Very rarely infection occurred in otherwise healthy individuals, but they can lead to serious clinical pictures as a result of an …

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