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Pharmig's Interactive Online Training Course: Cleaning & Disinfection of Cleanrooms

Pharmig’s interactive online training course: Cleaning & Disinfection of Cleanrooms

Making cleanroom personnel training easy, quantifiable & interactive.

Who we are

Pharmig have over 30 years of professional experience gleaned from individuals who work in, have responsibility for, or work alongside microbiologists within pharmaceutical, healthcare, cosmetics and NHS industries. This means we have a wealth of experience across multiple areas. We utilise our unique position and expertise to offer professional development and training courses that meet the needs of microbiologists, and those working alongside them whether that be in person, via live-stream, or online via our interactive training portal.

Who is this training for?

This interactive online training module is suitable for those that are working in GMP cleanrooms such as production operators, cleaners, QA, QC and engineers and can be used as part of hygiene training for anyone working in GMP environments and cleanrooms.

An effective cleaning programme is paramount to achieving the necessary hygiene standards for the manufacture of medicines and medical devices. These protocols are no longer confined to pharmaceutical microbiology and have permeated every sphere of life since the covid pandemic.

Do you have the need for training on cleaning and disinfection in pharmaceutical microbiology?

Online interactive training

Whilst we are slowly getting back to a loosening of restrictions, we still can’t meet in large groups to carry out face-to-face training. That’s where an online interactive training module comes into its own. In an increasingly digital world, this has been a lifeline during lockdown for  organisations that still need to develop and enhance their staff. What do you get if you train with Pharmig Microbiology?

What are the benefits of Pharmig’s interactive online training for your team?

The Pharmig Training Portal gives your team access to superior online training. By watching a series of detailed videos and animations, followed by a multiple-choice assessment, they will learn a variety of essential subjects relating to their role in prevention of contamination in the cleanroom environment. It also convenient. You can pause/start/stop after each chapter so that it can easily fit around an individual’s work schedule.

Plus, you will have  and the trainees which makes this course invaluable. On completion the trainees get a formal certificate. This is not just a nice piece of paper; it is clear evidence that they know how to go forward and carry out best practice in decontamination of cleanrooms. For the course content, see below or watch to see what you can expect:

Cleaning and Disinfection of Cleanrooms Training Chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction to Contamination in Cleanrooms

  • Importance of controlling contamination in the cleanroom
  • Classification limits for microorganisms & particulates

Chapter 2: Disinfection Selection, Storage & Usage

  • Principles behind disinfection selection
  • Control and handling of cleaning agents & disinfectants
  • Preparation & storage of solutions

Chapter 3: Cleaning Techniques

  • Control of cleaning equipment
  • Cleaning prior to disinfection
  • Sequence of cleaning & disinfection tasks
  • Mopping techniques for large surfaces
  • Wiping techniques for small surfaces
  • Transfer disinfection
  • Disposal of waste solutions


Personally, I feel this method of training is a lot more effective than our current training procedures.

The step-by-step videos provide a more effective way of fully understanding the procedure compared to the written/PowerPoint method of just presenting information.

I felt more engaged and more likely to pick up the relevant information. In addition to that, the fact that the series of questions and the information itself are integrated, makes training a lot easier and accessible. I’ve had numerous occasions during my training experience, where I’ve been unable to easily locate/access the relevant module PowerPoints, resulting in me having to either do tests with incomplete knowledge, or just simply having to wait a few days for someone to locate the information required, this makes completing training tedious and time consuming.

Simply put, I feel this system would hugely benefit our training and make it a lot quicker and less cumbersome to get trained than the method currently implemented.

Insight into how flu vaccines are assessed and prepared – an interview with Dr. Richard Webby, Infectious Disease Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 

By Tim Sandle

There are three types of influenza viruses affect people, called Type A, Type B and Type C, leading to the complication of ‘flu’. The virus is typically spread through the air from coughs or sneezes. While there are good practices that people can adopt to lower the risks of contracting flu, it is recommended by health authorities that people become vaccinated by the ‘flu shot’. Influenza vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

Traditional flu vaccines (called “trivalent” vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. There are also flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine and an additional B virus. The vaccine needs to be administered once per year.


The idea behind an annual flu shot is based on a prediction of what will be the most common types of influenza viruses in a particular country or region during the flu season. This is based on epidemological information and computer modeling. To cover all of the basis, often a trivalent vaccine is used (one designed to be effective against three flu viruses, such as an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. Sometimes biologists get this wrong and the flu jab doesn’t cover the main flu viruses prevalent for a given year (1).


The second reason for an annual shot is that each strain of the influenza virus mutates, meaning that a shot given for one form of the virus one season will probably no longer be effective the following season. A scientific race of discovery is underway to develop the first ‘universal’ flu shot. The premise is that some people can naturally combat different subtypes of the flu virus. Such people can develop powerful antibodies that target a site on the influenza virus that does not mutate rapidly, meaning they can resist a strain of the virus year after year (2).


As things standard, an annual flu shot remains the norm. Designing the vaccine is complicated and this requires international collaboration, requiring a data review and working with other scientists around the world.


To discover more about this important health topic, Pharmig’s Tim Sandle spoke with Dr. Richard Webby, Ph.D., member of the Infectious Disease Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza in Animals and Birds (3). Dr. Webby is involved with assessing the requirements for the vaccine development each year.

Image: An FDA laboratory worker injects an influenza virus into an egg, where it will grow before being harvested—one of the many complex steps involved in creating a traditional flu vaccine. Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration


Tim Sandle: What do you predict for this coming influenza season?


Dr. Richard Webby: Unfortunately, flu seasons are difficult – if not impossible – to predict. The season just passed in the Southern Hemisphere was a mixed bag, with Australia having a particularly bad season, but other countries seeing typical levels of activity. Having said that, while monitoring the Southern Hemisphere season helps us predict which viruses we might see in the Northern Hemisphere, it doesn’t necessarily help us predict virus activity itself.


Sandle: Many people confuse the ‘common cold’ with ‘flu’. Please can you summarize the key differences?


Dr. Webby: The common cold and influenza are caused by different viruses with influenza having the greatest disease impact. In terms of symptoms, the main differences are that influenza virus infection more typically leads to cough, chills and muscle aches, often with rapid onset.


Sandle: What is the process involved in selecting a flu vaccine for a forthcoming season? Do you work with WHO?


Dr. Webby: The World Health Organization (WHO) has a network of more than 140 laboratories that collect and characterize influenza viruses over their respective influenza seasons. In February, for the upcoming Northern Hemisphere season, and in September, for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere season, a small number of these laboratories, including representatives from the six WHO influenza Collaborating Centres (CC), meets to analyze the information collected and select the components of the upcoming vaccine.


Unfortunately, due to the time necessary to produce and distribute the vaccine, these decisions are made some six months before the vaccine is to be used. So in essence, the decision is a prediction, but a prediction based on substantial data of which influenza viruses are most likely to circulate in the coming season. I am Director of the WHO CC at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.


Sandle: Does this process differ year-by-year?


Dr. Webby: While the data being analyzed changes constantly and newer technologies are introduced to help analyze the data and improve predictions, the basic process does not change year to year.


Sandle: How easy is it to work with pharmaceutical companies for the vaccine development process?


Dr. Webby: The influenza vaccine is unique as it essentially needs to be changed regularly and produced to a very strict timeline. As such, and as suggested by your question, ensuring that this works requires collaboration between many sectors, including manufacturers.

The selection of vaccine components itself is conducted independently of the vaccine manufacturers. Subsequent to the selection, however, WHO coordinates the transfer of reagents and information to and from manufacturers to ensure vaccine is available in a timely manner.


Image: Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (Source: U.S. CDC)


Sandle: Where is the epidemiological data drawn from?


Dr. Webby: The data used for selection is drawn from the WHOs Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System which includes the 140-odd national influenza centres across the globe, six WHO CCs, and Essential Regulatory Laboratories (such as U.S. FDA).


Sandle: Do you use computer modelling to assess the data? If so, which types of platforms are used?


Dr. Webby: An array of computer modelling, and data-visualization programs are utilized for analysis of sequence and antigenic information. More recently, predictive modelling approaches are being explored to help guide the process of vaccine selection.


Sandle: Are vaccines typically for more than one type of flu virus?


Dr. Webby: There are two major categories of influenza vaccine, a trivalent formulation, which contains antigens from two influenza A viruses (H3N2 and H1N1) and one influenza B virus. More recently a quadrivalent formulation has been introduced which contains the three antigens above as well as an additional influenza B antigen.


Sandle: How effective would you say a flu vaccine is ahead of someone being infected with a targeted virus?


Dr. Webby: There are many factors that go into the effectiveness of a vaccine: the immunity of the individual, his or her age, and how well the influenza vaccine matches up with the circulating viruses. Unfortunately, in some age groups, such as the elderly, and in years where there is a vaccine-to-virus mismatch, the vaccine’s effectiveness can drop markedly.

There’s a good deal of research going on to understanding exactly why this is the case, and how vaccines can be changed to overcome these deficiencies.


Sandle: What are the risks of a different flu virus emerging other than the types produced for this year’s vaccine?


Dr. Webby: There are two different scenarios for how that might happen. The most common is when the circulating viruses change between the time the vaccine antigens are selected and the vaccine is actually used.


Such occurrences have been documented a small number of times over the past couple of decades. The second scenario occurs when a totally new virus transmits from the animal reservoir and a pandemic starts. This occurs 2-3 times per century.


Sandle: Other than vaccines, what else can families do to protect themselves from the flu virus? How effective is hand sanitization?


Dr. Webby: The basic principles that we all learned from grandma can help limit the spread of the virus: hand washing, which can prevent transmission from contaminated surfaces, covering your mouth when you cough, and staying at home when you’re not feeling well.


Sandle: How is the influenza vaccine likely to develop in the future?


Dr. Webby: In the longer term, it’s likely that we will change what parts of the virus we vaccinate against. The part we target now is the most protective, but is also the part most likely to change. It is hoped that by targeting a different part of the virus that doesn’t change as frequently, that we will won’t need to update the vaccine as often.


Sandle: Are there any obstacles towards developing a more effective flu vaccine?


Dr. Webby: Unfortunately, there are many. We still don’t completely understand what type of immunity works the best against the virus. Many of the more conserved virus structures we’d like to target are the hardest to induce immunity against, so it will take a lot of work to improve this aspect.


Sandle: What are your other research interests?


Dr. Webby: We study a number of aspects of influenza virology, particularly as it pertains to how influenza viruses change from being animal viruses to being human viruses. We study influenza viruses in a number of high-risk environments around the world and try to understand the key characteristics of pathogenesis and transmission.




  1. Cayley, W. E. (2019): Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Children, Healthy Adults, and Older Adults, Am Fam Physician. 100(3):143-146


  1. Denis, J. et al (2008) Development of a universal influenza A vaccine based on the M2e peptide fused to the papaya mosaic virus (PapMV) vaccine platform, Vaccine, Vol. 26 (issue 27): 3395-3403


  1. Richard Webby, website:

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