Background: Though there is a lot of literature available about presence of carcinogenic chemicals in these products, there is lack of information regarding the microbial composition of these products. Aim & Objective: The study was conducted with the objective of assessing microbial composition of smokeless tobacco products and factors associated with higher colony count. Methodology: This cross-sectional study included a total of 43 samples obtained from four districts of Karnataka namely Udupi, Bengaluru, Bidar and Belagavi. Microbial populations were assessed using quantitative aerobic culture and colony forming units per gram was reported for each sample. The data was entered into excel and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 16.0. Results have been expressed as frequencies and percentages. Univariate analysis was done to study association between background characteristics and higher colony counts. Results: All except three samples showed bacterial contamination. Two samples showed pathogenic bacterial growth, while the other 38 samples had non-pathogenic bacteria. There was no association between background characteristics and colony counts. Conclusions: Microbial contamination of smokeless tobacco products is common. There is a need to further investigate various factors associated with microbial contamination so that necessary interventions can be implemented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Medicine (miscellaneous)