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Course No 17090

Modern Microbiology Laboratory

17-19 September 2019, Munich, Germany

Non-ECA Members: EUR 1.990,--
ECA Members: EUR 1.790,--
EU GMP Inspectorates: EUR 995,--
APIC members: EUR 1.890,--
(All prices excl. VAT)

If you have any questions, please contact us:
Tel.: +49 (0)6221 / 84 44 0 E-Mail:


Colin Booth, The Binding Site, UK

Dr Marcel Goverde, MGP Switzerland

Dr Holger Kavermann, Roche Diagnostics, Germany

Arjan Langen, MSD, The Netherlands

Michael Schiffer, Novartis Pharma Stein, Switzerland

Learning Objectives

Most tests applied in microbiological QC are described in detail in the different Pharmacopoeias (e.g. EP, USP, and JP). These methods are regarded as being validated - but not for your products!

In the end, it is up to you to prove that the official methods function in your environment.
The validation of microbiological test methods for your needs consumes a lot of time, money and manpower. Things can get more complicated if your products interfere with the execution of the test.

The real challenge is to fulfil both, regulatory requirements and at the same time financial targets set by your management.

During this 3-day workshop you develop strategies for a sustainable approach perform microbiological test procedures in compliance with the regulations. This course will give you clear guidance on how to cope with these tasks besides your routine laboratory work.

The key tool of this seminar will be team work. During interactive sessions you will create procedures for the most common microbial test methods. Our experienced ECA course leaders will moderate the discussions to lead you to practice-oriented solutions.

After completion of the course you will be able to run microbiological test procedures in a compliant and at the same time efficient manner.

To guarantee optimal conditions for the exchange of opinions and experiences, the number of participants is limited!

This course will provide practical guidance on implementing the harmonized test methods as well as alternative microbiological methods!

Target Group

This GMP Workshop is designed for
  • microbiologists,
  • managers and supervisors of pharmaceutical microbiological laboratories

Furthermore, the course will be of interest to personnel from quality control, quality assurance, regulatory affairs and contract laboratories involved in the microbiological aspects of the production and testing of medicinal products


Module 1:
Basic Requirements for Microbiological Laboratories

Training and Qualification of Analysts
  • A structured training programme for microbiologists what they need to know and why
Method Suitability Test - Requirements and Materials
  • Designing a MST strategy
  • Worked examples of MST, creams, liquids, tablets
  • Sterility test validation: why do so many laboratories get it wrong?
  • MST for difficult formulations
  • Validation and robustness are they the same thing?
  • Transferring methods to other laboratories, what do you need?
  • Microbial cultures, selection and maintenance
  • Microbiological media: how to make it, store it and test it
Method Validation According 5.1.6.
  • Background of chapter Ph. Eur. 5.1.6
  • Revision of chapter 5.1.6
  • Validation process
  • Accuracy, Precision, Specificity, LOD, LOQ, Linearity, Range, Robustness
Module 2:
Compliant Microbiological Test Methods

Microbial Limit Test for Non-Sterile Products
  • The harmonised approach USP/Ph.Eur. /JP
  • Relevant parameters in the test procedure
  • Choosing the most suitable test method
  • Microbial quality of excipients, API and final dosage forms
  • Defining alert levels based on historical data
  • The approach of risk assessment testing
Bacterial Endotoxins/Test Validation
  • Principles of the techniques: Gel-clot techniques, Photometric techniques
  • Preparatory testing / validation tests
The Test of Sterility
  • Media
  • Method suitability tests
  • Test procedures: Membrane filtration method, Direct transfer or direct inoculation method
Tests for Specified Microorganisms
  • Testing Methods
  • Challenges concerning the suitability testing
  • How to choose the right growth media supplier
  • What are objectionable micro-organisms
Rapid Microbiological Methods
  • Overview on the current RMMs
  • Limitations and benefits of the different RMM?
Environmental Monitoring
  • Monitoring of non-sterile processes
  • Aseptic manufacture: developing a programme, interpreting data, regulatory requirements
  • Monitoring methods; air, surface, people
  • A complete programme for a sterile product
Module 3:
The Real World - A Workshop Day

Interactive Sessions
You will participate in 3 workshops!

These interactive sessions are an excellent forum for fruitful discussions. You will develop testing and validation strategies that can be transferred directly to your lab. The ECA course leaders take care that you stay focused on the pre-defined exercises.

The harmonized methods for testing of non-sterile Products
The goal of this workshop is encourage the participants to think globally when analysing microbiology problems. Microbiology problems are subtle and often multifactorial in their origin. The workshop will show you tips and tricks in testing methods and a possibility to discuss the issues of the implementation of the harmonized methods like growth promotion testing, creating an implementation concept and necessary investments.

Rapid Microbiological Methods
This workshop offers you a unique possibility to evaluate the new developments in RMM systems to extend the experiences in validation and implementation of these systems in pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore you will learn more about the expectations of European and US authorities.

Risk Assessment and Trending
This workshop will give you an insight in trending of microbiological data and principles of microbiological risk assessments. It will cover the regulatory background like ICH Q9 and make you familiar with risk identification tools like FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) or FTA (Fault Tree Analysis)

Environmental Monitoring
The workshop gives you an understanding of how to set-up an environmental monitoring programme, and how to handle excursions. The discussions will focus on initial qualification vs routine monitoring, how many samples are reasonable, reporting structure of environmental monitoring data, corrective actions and the impact of environmental data on product release.

Module 4:
Further Challenges in Modern Microbiological Labs

Identification Techniques Phenotypic / Genotypic
  • Phenotypic and genotypic identification techniques - advantages and limitations
  • A change from phenotypic to genotypic identification and the surprises
  • New Methods - whats in sight?
Dealing with OOS Results
  • How do we define alert and action limits?
  • How should we react on Out-Of-Specification results?
  • How can we perform a proper Failure Investigation?
Disinfection Efficacy Testing and Validation
  • Antimicrobial Agents and their Efficacy
  • Testing Methods
  • Efficacy testing against Isolates
  • Validation approach
  • Guidelines
Lab Layout and Equipment Qualification
  • Clean and dirty concepts
  • Avoiding cross contamination
  • Layout requirements for a PCR Lab
  • Equipment Qualification Points to consider for a microbiological Lab
Change Control
  • Capturing changes in your process
  • When is a change not a change?
  • Change control after the event!
  • Your change control process, making it robust

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