• Colistin sulfate, USP packaged and labeled.

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SKU: C083

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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. To see all available colistin products, click here.

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

    CAS Number


    Molecular Formula

    C52H98N16O13 •2.5 H2SO4 (Colistin Sulfate A)

    Molecular Weight

    1155.43 (Colistin Sulfate A)

    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.

    Storage Conditions


    Tariff Code



    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).





    White or almost white powder


    Bacillus Polymyxa subsp.

    Elemental Analysis

    As≤2 ppm

    Potency (on a dry basis)

    ≥19,900 u/mg


    A470 ≤ 0.4



    Optical Rotation

    -63° to -73° (dried substance)

    Loss on Drying


    Sulfated Ash


    Heavy Metals

    ≤20 ppm



    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. www.ncbi.gov. 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. Ncbi.gov. 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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