The pandemic promoted, as a kind of 'boom', the development and adjustment of devices and products that in the Colombian market are related to the elimination of all kinds of infectious agents such as bacteria, fungi or even the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. of COVID-19.
This panorama is evidenced that, in the last six months of 2020, the Colombian Institute of Tropical Medicine (ICMT) of the CES University in Medellín reported an increase of 60% in requests from companies or individuals to evaluate any type of product or device with bactericidal or fungicidal capacity.
“This is a market that has been growing in recent years, but increased with the pandemic. However, it is important to highlight that these products must be in constant development and evaluation so that they can meet the needs and challenges of the market.”, Assured the Doctor of Science, Giovanny Torres Lindarte, from the ICMT.
Proof of this is the significant increase in evaluations that have been carried out since the beginning of the pandemic to date in the Industrial Microbiology Laboratory of the ICMT. In this space we only work with bacteria and fungi. They have a wide variety of strains according to the use that the product will have. For example, if it will be used as an antiseptic or a disinfectant in the food industry, at the hospital level, or in household cleaning and disinfection.
“The Laboratory not only provides this service, but also advises and accompanies its clients in the selection of bacteria and fungi to be evaluated, according to the use of the product or device, as well as in the interpretation of the results, allowing clients to verify their performance and make decisions to improve or control the products”Added Luis Ernesto López Rojas, director of the ICMT.
The analyzes are carried out in a laboratory that complies with the biosafety conditions for the manipulation of microorganisms, by personnel trained in this type of practice, as professionals in microbiology with postgraduate degrees (Master's and Doctorates) in the same area and with extensive experience. in the application of these laboratory techniques.
How is the evaluation done?
Soaps, gels, cosmetics, products for cleaning and disinfection of the home and hospital environments, as well as equipment developed for the disinfection of clothing, food, luggage or any product for daily use such as keys, glasses; are some of the examples of products or devices that are evaluated on a daily basis.
For the evaluation, the first step that is carried out is the selection of the group of bacteria and fungi to challenge according to the needs of use of the product or device. Then, the national or international standard that meets the required parameters is identified and at the end the results are socialized and the applicant is advised.
“The laboratory is able to evaluate products or devices under simulated or real conditions of use, allowing applicants to have test alternatives that allow them to know the behavior of the products outside or within the laboratory, but under very conditions of use. close to reality"Said Dr. Torres Lindarte.
Also, ICMT is enabled by the Departmental Health Laboratory of Antioquia for the processing of more than 300 daily PCR tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in its laboratories in the municipalities of Sabaneta, in the Aburrá Valley; and Apartado in the Urabá region.