Minimal inhibitory concentration of natural vinegar and of aluminium acetate-tartrate solution

Otol Neurotol. 2013 Jul;34(5):795-7. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e31829411d7.


Hypothesis: Vinegar and aluminium acetate preparations are used for treatment of ear infections. It is instrumental to know the minimal inhibitory concentration to get effective remedies. This study was performed to assess the lowest dilution of vinegar (specified content, 6% acetic acid) and aluminium acetate-tartrate solution (specified content, 1.4% aluminium and 6% acetic acid) to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration against bacteria commonly found in chronic ear infections.

Background: Laboratory study on 2 samples of aluminium acetate-tartrate and on 1 sample of natural white wine vinegar on antibacterial effects against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli.

Methods: Performing of a susceptibility testing-determination of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) with the method of microbouillon dilution (DIN 58940 part 7).

Results: Acetic acid was found to be effective in vitro in concentrations of 0.1% to 0.2% against the tested bacteria; aluminium acetate-tartrate solution was found to be effective in vitro in concentrations of 1.25% to 2.5% against the tested bacteria.

Conclusion: Vinegar respectively acetic acid diluted with water and aqueous aluminium acetate-tartrate solution could be effective ototopic preparations caused by one of the tested bacteria. For its effectiveness, an acid pH not higher than 4.5 is essential. Experiments with aluminium acetate-tartrate preparations on animals and clinical trials are required to obtain information about the response rates in ear infections and about any adverse effects.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / pharmacology*
  • Acetic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests* / methods
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Solutions
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Tartrates / pharmacology


  • Acetates
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Solutions
  • Tartrates
  • aluminum acetate
  • Acetic Acid
  • tartaric acid