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Biotechnology Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 572521, 5 pages
Research Article

Assessing Market-Sold Remedies in Lomé (Togo) for Hygienic Quality

Centre de Recherche et de Formation sur les Plantes Médicinales (CEFOPLAM), ESTBA, Université de Lomé, Lomé BP 1515, Togo

Received 25 May 2010; Revised 7 July 2010; Accepted 28 July 2010

Academic Editor: Yu Hong Wei

Copyright © 2011 Comlan de Souza et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Traditional concoctions sold in marketplaces are always assumed to be safe and efficient; however, they can be potentially toxic because of poor hygienic practices in plant processing or storage. The present study aimed to assess for the microbial quality of market-sold vegetable drugs in Lomé. Thus, a total of 209 plant remedies were collected in marketplaces and analysed for the presence of total aerobic bacteria, total coliforms, thermotolerant coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus, sulphite reducing bacteria, and yeast and moulds according to the French Association of Normalisation (AFNOR) guidelines. The results revealed that all formulations were contaminated by several microorganisms, excepted alcohol-based mixtures. According to AFNOR limits nonconform drugs were according to total aerobic bacteria (86.96% powders, 81.82% capsules, 66.67% tisanes, and 42.11% decoctions); to total coliforms (9.10% capsules, 8.70% powders and 1.75% decoction); to yeasts and moulds (77.78% ointments, 40% calcined powders, 36.36% capsules, and 23.91% powders). The microbiological analysis revealed that the majority of contaminating bacteria were gram positive catalase positive and oxidase positive bacilli. Quality control studies on market-sold remedies are currently needed to evaluate the microbial risk in consuming these products and they may allow the standardisation of plant processing and storage.