In vitro antimicrobial activity of potash alum

Indian J Med Res. 1996 Jul:104:157-9.


This study reports the bactericidal activity of potash alum when added to water, against various epidemic causing enteric pathogens like Vibrio cholerae 01, V. cholerae 0139 and Shigella dysenteriae 1 by lowering the pH of water (from 6.0 to 4.0). Growth of the enteric pathogens was monitored in vitro by inoculating broth cultures of the different organisms in distilled water containing increasing concentrations of potash alum and quantitatively determining the concentration of viable organisms over a 48 h period by the standard plate count method. Controls constituted cultures of each organism grown in the absence of potash alum. The pH of alum administered water was measured in each test tube before inoculation of organisms. Potash alum was found to inhibit growth (10(5) viable count per ml) of most of the organisms examined, particularly V. cholerae 01 and V. cholerae 0139 in a dose dependent fashion. Reduction of colony forming units was observed in presence of 0.25 g/dl of alum after 5 h and no growth was noticed after 24 h.

MeSH terms

  • Alum Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Potassium / pharmacology
  • Vibrio cholerae / drug effects*


  • Alum Compounds
  • aluminum sulfate
  • Potassium