While healthy women can handle the low levels of bacteria found in cosmetics, for severely ill patients they may trigger life-threatening infections. Writing in the journal Critical Care, doctors from the intensive care unit at a Barcelona hospital describe a Burkholderia cepacia bacterial outbreak triggered by contaminated body moisturizer.
Five patients suffered from infections that included bacteremia, lower respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections. Researchers tested a number of environmental samples, and discovered that moisturizing body milk used in the patients' care was a B. cepacia reservoir. Worryingly, tests on sealed containers of the moisturizer confirmed that the bacteria had not invaded the product after it had been opened, but that it was contaminated during manufacturing, transportation or storage.
"This outbreak of nosocomial infection caused by B. cepacia in five severely ill patients supports a strong recommendation against the use cosmetic products for which there is no guarantee of sterilization during the manufacturing process," says study author Francisco Álvarez-Lerma.
B. cepacia poses little medical risk to healthy people. However, those with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis, may be more susceptible to B. cepacia infection.
Makeup Counters Home-Sweet-Home For Bacteria
Source: BioMed Central