Research Article Open Access

Condoms-As Sources of Extracellular Enzyme Producing Microbes

Madhusmita Mishra1, Poulomi Nandy1, Sarvani Debsarma1, Mainak Dutta1, Aditya Kumar Sarkar1, Anindita Chakraborty2, Timir Baran Samanta1, Ashoke Ranjan Thakur3 and Shaon Ray Chaudhuri1
  • 1 West Bengal University of Technology, India
  • 2 Calcutta Centre, India
  • 3 West Bengal State University Barasat, India


Problem statement: Condoms are widely used birth control measures which are made of natural latex or synthetic materials like polyurethane or polyisoprene as matrix with lubricants added to make them ready to use commodities. Absence of sterilization method along with presence of lubricant like petroleum jelly (that are applied on the outer surface), prompted the investigators to look for microbes from the surface of male condoms. Approach: The culture based method was used for the study. This study reports the isolation and preliminary characterization of microbes from unused new condoms of ten different brands available in the chemist's shop in Kolkata, India. Results: The microbial count varies between 0-3×1010 in samples obtained from different batches. Thirty four microbial isolates were selected for their colony and cell morphology as well as biochemical characterization. Ten among them were picked up for antibiotic sensitivity testing, quorum sensing behaviour and swimming and swarming behavior while six of them were characterized at the molecular level (16S rDNA). Most of the isolates were lipase producing. 10Gray of 60Co gamma ray was found to be effective to decontaminate the condoms. Conclusion/Recommendations: The growth due to contamination might be supported by the lubricant. Hence it is time to consider seriously the need to maintain aseptic conditions during manufacturing.

Current Research in Microbiology
Volume 1 No. 2, 2010, 14-22


Submitted On: 24 January 2011 Published On: 31 May 2011

How to Cite: Mishra, M., Nandy, P., Debsarma, S., Dutta, M., Sarkar, A. K., Chakraborty, A., Samanta, T. B., Thakur, A. R. & Chaudhuri, S. R. (2010). Condoms-As Sources of Extracellular Enzyme Producing Microbes. Current Research in Microbiology, 1(2), 14-22.

  • 0 Citations



  • Male condom
  • molecular identification
  • lubricant
  • quorum sensing
  • swarming behavior
  • extracellular enzyme producing microbes
  • petroleum jelly
  • Phosphate Buffer Saline (PBS)
  • Colony Forming Unit (CFU)