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1.1.1 This document provides guidance for bioburden testing and tests of sterility for biologics and tissue-based products, where this testing is in relation to product sterilization. NOTE This document is intended to be used in conjunction with ISO 11737-1 and ISO 11737-2. 1.1.2 Guidance in this document can be applicable to biologics and tissue-based products that are not sterile but are microbiologically controlled.

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1.1 This document specifies the general criteria for tests of sterility on medical devices that have been exposed to a treatment with the sterilizing agent which has been reduced relative to that anticipated to be used in routine sterilization processing. These tests are intended to be performed when defining, validating or maintaining a sterilization process. 1.2 This document is not applicable to: a) sterility testing for routine release of product that has been subjected to a sterilization process, b) performing a test for sterility (see 3.12), NOTE 1 The performance of a) or b) is not a requirement of ISO 11135, ISO 11137-1, ISO 11137-2, ISO 14160, ISO 14937, ISO 17665-1 or ISO 20857. c) test of sterility or test for sterility for demonstration of product shelf life, stability and/or package integrity, and d) culturing of biological indicators or inoculated products. NOTE 2 Guidance on culturing biological indicators is included in ISO 11138-7.

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ISO 11737-1:2018 specifies requirements and provides guidance on the enumeration and microbial characterization of the population of viable microorganisms on or in a health care product, component, raw material or package. NOTE 1 The nature and extent of microbial characterization is dependent on the intended use of bioburden data. NOTE 2 See Annex A for guidance on Clauses 1 to 9. ISO 11737-1:2018 does not apply to the enumeration or identification of viral, prion or protozoan contaminants. This includes the removal and detection of the causative agents of spongiform encephalopathies, such as scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. NOTE 3 Guidance on inactivating viruses and prions can be found in ISO 22442‑3, ICH Q5A(R1) and ISO 13022. ISO 11737-1:2018 does not apply to the microbiological monitoring of the environment in which health care products are manufactured.

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ISO 11737-2:2009 specifies the general criteria for tests of sterility on medical devices that have been exposed to a treatment with the sterilizing agent reduced relative to that anticipated to be used in routine sterilization processing. These tests are intended to be performed when defining, validating or maintaining a sterilization process.

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ISO 11737-1:2006 specifies requirements and provides guidance for the enumeration and microbial characterization of the population of viable micro-organisms on or in a medical device, component, raw material or package.

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ISO 11737-3:2004 provides guidance on evaluating and interpreting the data generated during routine monitoring of the microbiological quality of medical devices. ISO 11737-3:2004 is not applicable to the use of bioburden data generated for establishing the extent of treatment to be applied in a sterilization process. ISO 11737-3:2004 is not applicable to microbiological data generated from sampling the environment in manufacturing areas.

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Specifies general criteria for the estimation of the population of viable microorganisms on medical devices or packages. Not applicable for the enumeration or identification of viral contamination and to the microbiological monitoring of the environment in which medical devices are manufactured.

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