Volume 36, Issue 3 (May 1991)
Mycocontamination of Illicit Samples of Heroin and Cocaine as an Indicator of Adulteration
The authors studied the fungal spectrum of the drugs most frequently sold in the streets in Spain (brown heroin, white heroin, and cocaine) in order to ascertain their potential use as indicators of the degree of manipulation or adulteration, as well as the potential pathogenicity of the taxa found. For this purpose we analyzed 205 drug samples (106 brown heroin, 69 white heroin, and 30 cocaine) from sachets seized by the Spanish police; they were cultured in appropriate media, from which 391 colonies of micellar fungi from 53 taxa, of which only 8 were encountered in the three types of drugs, were isolated. The results obtained were subjected to a variance analysis with a single source of variation and to a hierarchical variance analysis, in which brown heroin was shown to be significantly more contaminated by fungi than the other two drugs. This can be explained by considering that brown heroin is the most liable to manipulation of all three drugs because of its characteristics.