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Prepared Microbiological Media: Pros and Cons:

Prepared Microbiological Media: Pros and Cons:
04/07/2018

The question of whether to use externally sourced prepared media or whether to produce in-house is one that goes beyond cost and preference. For some manufacturers, there is simply no other option but to create a bespoke product in-house.

At the 24th Annual Pharmig Conference in Nottingham, Dr Tim Sandle and Edel Fitzmaurice chaired a session on industry practices relating to culture media use, with a view to understanding current trends and how they might be changing.

They found that, in the UK, microbiology labs who produce the prepared media they require for their operations in-house are in the minority. The majority of labs outsource all their prepared media. In between are those who opt for a combined approach, with some culture media produced in-house, and some outsourced.

There is usually a very good reason for media to be prepared in-house, rather than mere preference. For example, the media is quite often unique, designed to individual product specifications, and therefore historically it has not been available from a prepared media manufacturer.

However, a quick overview of the industry clearly shows that many laboratories are now choosing to acquire their prepared media from a manufacturer. While specific types of media often continue to be prepared in-house, external manufacturers are increasingly used to source more generic types.

Laboratories that make some of their prepared media in-house often do so to mitigate the costs involved in sourcing external manufacturers. Other concerns include the issues around sterility and the short shelf life of some specialist media. However, these concerns are being addressed by prepared media manufacturers who offer a broad range of services to meet the needs of every laboratory, whatever mixture of media they require.

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