Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Casanova

Second Advisor

Dr. Christine Stauber


Chitosan is naturally occurring polysaccharide that is related to the molecule chitin and has been shown to act as an antifungal and antibacterial agent, as well as a coagulant for microbial removal from water. However, little research has explored the antiviral properties of chitosan, particularly as an as an antimicrobial agent to treat drinking water. In this study we investigated the efficacy of utilizing chitosan as an antiviral agent for the purposes of water treatment by measuring the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of seven chitosan samples- chitosan lactate, chitosan acetate, chitosan HCl, 70DD, 85DD, 95DD, and 100K. An antimicrobial assay was conducted utilizing seven chitosan samples with varying degrees of deacetylation, different molecular weights, and different added functional groups. We determined that amongst all chitosan samples only three samples- 85DD, 95DD, and 100K Da had the lowest MIC, or the concentration at which there were no detectable viral components at a concentration of 5,000 µg/ml. The results attained in this experiment add to the body of knowledge about the potential benefits of utilizing chitosan as an antimicrobial agent in areas with limited water and sanitation infrastructure.