Bacterial contamination of reconstituted oral rehydration solution

Indian Pediatr. 1990 Jan;27(1):21-6.


The extent and nature of bacterial contamination in oral rehydration solution reconstituted for use by individuals and for group of patients was studied. Twenty three volunteers (all qualified doctors) were asked to reconstitute a packet of prepackaged salt in half litre of clean unboiled water obtained from taps at their residence. Five ml aliquots of ORS were collected at 6, 12 and 24 hours after reconstitution for bacteriologic study. The water used by volunteers to reconstitute the ORS as well as throat swabs, peri-anal swabs and nail clippings of volunteers yielded pathogenic bacteria in all the subjects/samples. All the 23 specimens of ORS prepared by volunteers when cultured at 6 hours after reconstitution yielded pathogenic bacteria. The bacterial colony counts were found to be unacceptably high at 12 hours. Five ml samples of reconstituted ORS prepared in bulk in the children ward of PGIMER, Chandigarh were cultured at 12, and again at 24 hours after reconstitution on 10 different days. These yielded Klebsiella pneumoniae in 8 specimens (80%) and E. coli in 2 (20%). The bacterial colony count was unacceptably high, 12 hours after reconstitution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Drug Contamination*
  • Rehydration Solutions*


  • Rehydration Solutions