Colistin sulfate, USP packaged and labeled.

C083100 mg
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C0831 g
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  • Description

    Colistin is a unique sparingly soluble cyclic polypeptide antibiotic known as polymyxin E. Colistin has been found to be effective against carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE. CRE is a "superbug" which possesses NDM-1 or KPC genes which encode New Delhi Metallo-beta-lacamase or Klebsiella pneumoniae cabapenemase respectively; two enzymes which render nearly all beta-lactam antibiotics useless.

    TOKU-E offers two forms of colistin: colistin sulfate (C083) and colistin sodium methanesulfonate (C073). Both forms of colistin are freely soluble in aqueous solution.  Colistin sodium methanesulfonate (CMS) is considered an inactive prodrug which means it is inactive until converted into colistin by cellular enzymes.  Colistin sulfate (colistin) however, is the end product of CMS and does not require molecular conversion for antimicrobial effects.

    This product is considered a dangerous good. Quantities above 1 g may be subject to additional shipping fees. Please contact us for specific questions.

    Mechanism of Action

    Colistin has a bactericidal effect on Gram negative bacteria by interacting with and displacing essential ions in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) outer cell wall leading to increased permeability and eventually lysis of the cell.


    Colistin sulfate is used primarily against Gram negative bacteria.

    • Microbiology Applications

      Colistin is commonly used in clinical in vitro microbiological antimicrobial susceptibility tests (panels, discs, and MIC strips) against gram negative microbial isolates. Colistin has also shown high potency against high-resistant superbug strains. Medical microbiologists use AST results to recommend antibiotic treatment options for infected patients. Representative MIC values include:

      • Shigella spp. 64 µg/mL -128 µg/mL
      • Haemophilus influenzae 0.4 µg/mL – 0.8 µg/mL
      • For a complete list of colistin MIC values, click here.

      Media Supplement

      Colistin is routinely used as a selection agent in several types of isolation media:

      Columbia Blood AgarCampylobacter selective supplement (Butzler)

      Columbia Blood Agar - Staphylococcus/Streptococcus selective supplement

      Columbia Blood Agar - Streptococcus Selective Supplement

      Listeria Selective Agar - Listeria Selective Supplement

      Listeria Selective Agar - Modified Listeria Selective Supplement

    • Plant Biology Applications

      In plant tissue culture, colistin has been used in combination with chlortetracycline and gentamicin to eliminate Pseudomonas spp. from Prunus infections. Colistin sulfate has been shown to elict alkaloid accumulation in E. californica. Treatment at 0.1 mg/ml for 4 hours showed a 3 times increase in Jasmonate levels over the control (water).

    • References

      Falagas, M. E. "Colistin: The Revival of Polymyxins for the Management of Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative Bacterial Infections." Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 40.9 (2005): 1333-341. Web. 10 Sept. 2012.

      Bergen, Philip J. et. al. "Colistin Methanesulfonate Is an Inactive Prodrug of Colistin against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 50.6 (2006): 1953-958. Web. 5 Oct. 2012.

      Leifert C., Ritchie J.Y. and Waites W.M., Contaminants of plant-tissue and cell cultures. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol. 7, pp. 452-469, 1991.

      MJ Mueller, W Brodschelm. "Signaling in the elicitation process is mediated through the octadecanoid pathway leading to jasmonic acid". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 90, pp. 7490-7494, August 1993.



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    For in vitro research use only. Not suitable for human or animal consumption. For MSDSs not available online, please email a request to [email protected]

  • CAS Number1264-72-8
    Molecular FormulaC52H98N16O13 •2.5 H2SO4 (Colistin Sulfate A)
    Molecular Weight1155.43 (Colistin Sulfate A)
    AppearanceWhite or almost white powder
    Solubility50mg/mL H2O: Clear and Light yellow solution
    SourceBacillus Polymyxa subsp.

    Elemental AnalysisAs≤2 ppm
    Potency (on a dry basis)≥19,900 u/mg
    AbsorbanceA470 ≤ 0.4
    Optical Rotation-63° to -73° (dried substance)
    Storage Conditions2-8°C
    Loss on Drying≤7.0%
    Sulfated Ash≤1.0%
    Heavy Metals≤20 ppm
    IdentificationA, B, C (from USP)