Special Issue "The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics"

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A special issue of Antibiotics (ISSN 2079-6382).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Angelina Pena

Group of Health Surveillance, Center of Pharmaceutical Studies Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Health Sciences Campus, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: antibiotic use (including on animals and in agriculture); new methods for assaying and evaluating antibiotics; observational studies; qualitative and quantitative research; food and environmental residues

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Antibiotics, widely used in human and veterinary medicine, are emerging environmental contaminants. In recent years there has been growing concern worldwide about their environment occurrence due to their adverse effects. Among all pharmaceuticals, they are believed to be of greatest concern due to the selection and development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria having great impact in human health.

Antibiotics residues have been found in a wide range of environmental samples, including surface water, ground water, and drinking water. Moreover, studies in the United States of America and Europe have detected antibiotic resistant bacteria in drinking water supplies. Monitoring and surveillance studies are needed to evaluate the environmental footprint of antibiotics, namely a better understanding of their transport and environmental fate, their persistence in water and sediment and assessment of the potential risks to the aquatic life, animals and humans. In recent years, several initiatives have been launched to establish or strengthen surveillance systems, both in EU member states and at an international level, to monitor the presence of these residues in the environment. Many actions could be considered to mitigate the antibiotic environmental footprint by promoting safety approaches along their lifecycle, endorsing their rational use, improving the drug disposal, WWTP treatment processes, take-back schemes and development of green pharmaceuticals.

This special issue will be dealing with the environmental footprint of antibiotics emphasising aspects related to their occurrence, fate and ecotoxicity, important issues for an integrated management of the possible environmental risk that is essential for the implementation of minimizing measures.

Prof. Dr. Angelina Pena
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Antibiotics is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • antibiotics
  • occurrence
  • fate
  • environment risk
  • ecotoxicity

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Occurrence and Distribution of Synthetic Organic Substances in Boreal Coniferous Forest Soils Fertilized with Hygienized Municipal Sewage Sludge
Antibiotics 2013, 2(3), 352-366; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2030352
Received: 17 April 2013 / Revised: 20 June 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 17 July 2013
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Abstract
The occurrence and distribution of synthetic organic substances following application of dried and granulated (hygienized) municipal sewage sludge in Swedish boreal coniferous forests were investigated. Elevated concentrations of triclosan (TCS), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were detected in the [...] Read more.
The occurrence and distribution of synthetic organic substances following application of dried and granulated (hygienized) municipal sewage sludge in Swedish boreal coniferous forests were investigated. Elevated concentrations of triclosan (TCS), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were detected in the humus layer. Concentrations of ethinyl estradiol (EE2), norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin (FQs), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were not significantly influenced. Maximum concentrations in humus were as follows (in ng/g dry matter): TCS; 778; PBDEs; 25; and PCB7; 16.7. Fertilization did not alter the levels of the substances in mineral soil, ground water, and various types of samples related to air. Further research within this area is needed, including ecotoxicological effects and fate, in order to improve the knowledge regarding the use of sludge as a fertilizing agent. Continuous annual monitoring, with respect to sampling and analysis, should be conducted on the already-fertilized fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Presence of Pharmaceutical Compounds in Seawater Samples from Coastal Area of Gran Canaria Island (Spain)
Antibiotics 2013, 2(2), 274-287; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2020274
Received: 7 March 2013 / Revised: 17 May 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 30 May 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study presents the evaluation of seven pharmaceutical compounds belonging to different commonly used therapeutic classes in seawater samples from coastal areas of Gran Canaria Island. The target compounds include atenolol (antihypertensive), acetaminophen (analgesic), norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin (antibiotics), carbamazepine (antiepileptic) and ketoprofen [...] Read more.
This study presents the evaluation of seven pharmaceutical compounds belonging to different commonly used therapeutic classes in seawater samples from coastal areas of Gran Canaria Island. The target compounds include atenolol (antihypertensive), acetaminophen (analgesic), norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin (antibiotics), carbamazepine (antiepileptic) and ketoprofen and diclofenac (anti-inflammatory). Solid phase extraction (SPE) was used for the extraction and preconcentration of the samples, and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used for the determination of the compounds. Under optimal conditions, the recoveries obtained were in the range of 78.3% to 98.2%, and the relative standard deviations were less than 11.8%. The detection and quantification limits of the method were in the ranges of 0.1–2.8 and 0.3–9.3 ng·L−1, respectively. The developed method was applied to evaluate the presence of these pharmaceutical compounds in seawater from four outfalls in Gran Canaria Island (Spain) during one year. Ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin were found in a large number of samples in a concentration range of 9.0–3551.7 ng·L−1. Low levels of diclofenac, acetaminophen and ketoprofen were found sporadically. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)
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Open AccessArticle An Environmental Risk Assessment for Human-Use Trimethoprim in European Surface Waters
Antibiotics 2013, 2(1), 115-162; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2010115
Received: 23 November 2012 / Revised: 10 January 2013 / Accepted: 14 January 2013 / Published: 18 March 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An environmental risk assessment (ERA) for the aquatic compartment in Europe from human use was developed for the old antibiotic Trimethoprim (TMP), comparing exposure and effects. The exposure assessment is based on European risk assessment default values on one hand and is [...] Read more.
An environmental risk assessment (ERA) for the aquatic compartment in Europe from human use was developed for the old antibiotic Trimethoprim (TMP), comparing exposure and effects. The exposure assessment is based on European risk assessment default values on one hand and is refined with documented human use figures in Western Europe from IMS Health and measured removal in wastewater treatment on the other. The resulting predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) are compared with measured environmental concentrations (MECs) from Europe, based on a large dataset incorporating more than 1800 single MECs. On the effects side, available chronic ecotoxicity data from the literature were complemented by additional, new chronic results for fish and other organisms. Based on these data, chronic-based deterministic predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs) were derived as well as two different probabilistic PNEC ranges. The ERA compares surface water PECs and MECs with aquatic PNECs for TMP. Based on all the risk characterization ratios (PEC÷PNEC as well as MEC÷PNEC) and risk graphs, there is no significant risk to surface waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)
Open AccessArticle Determination of the Presence of Three Antimicrobials in Surface Water Collected from Urban and Rural Areas
Antibiotics 2013, 2(1), 46-57; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2010046
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 1 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 7 February 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the continuous release of antimicrobials into the environment, the aim of this study was to compare the frequency of detection of sulfamethazine, sulfamethoxypyridazine and trimethoprim in surface water collected from urban and rural areas in Northwestern Spain. A monitoring study [...] Read more.
Due to the continuous release of antimicrobials into the environment, the aim of this study was to compare the frequency of detection of sulfamethazine, sulfamethoxypyridazine and trimethoprim in surface water collected from urban and rural areas in Northwestern Spain. A monitoring study was conducted with 314 river water samples analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. The results indicated that 37% of the samples contained residues of at least one of the investigated antimicrobials, and every sampling site yielded positive samples. At sites located near the discharge points of wastewater treatment plants and near the collection point of a drinking-water treatment plant, more than 6% of the samples were positive for the presence of antimicrobial residues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Designing Safer and Greener Antibiotics
Antibiotics 2013, 2(3), 419-438; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2030419
Received: 29 May 2013 / Revised: 17 August 2013 / Accepted: 21 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the production of the first pharmaceutically active molecules at the beginning of the 1900s, drug molecules and their metabolites have been observed in the environment in significant concentrations. In this review, the persistence of antibiotics in the environment and their associated [...] Read more.
Since the production of the first pharmaceutically active molecules at the beginning of the 1900s, drug molecules and their metabolites have been observed in the environment in significant concentrations. In this review, the persistence of antibiotics in the environment and their associated effects on ecosystems, bacterial resistance and health effects will be examined. Solutions to these problems will also be discussed, including the pharmaceutical industries input, green chemistry, computer modeling and representative ionic liquid research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)
Open AccessReview Environmental and Public Health Implications of Water Reuse: Antibiotics, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria, and Antibiotic Resistance Genes
Antibiotics 2013, 2(3), 367-399; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2030367
Received: 17 June 2013 / Revised: 19 July 2013 / Accepted: 24 July 2013 / Published: 31 July 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water scarcity is a global problem, and is particularly acute in certain regions like Africa, the Middle East, as well as the western states of America. A breakdown on water usage revealed that 70% of freshwater supplies are used for agricultural irrigation. [...] Read more.
Water scarcity is a global problem, and is particularly acute in certain regions like Africa, the Middle East, as well as the western states of America. A breakdown on water usage revealed that 70% of freshwater supplies are used for agricultural irrigation. The use of reclaimed water as an alternative water source for agricultural irrigation would greatly alleviate the demand on freshwater sources. This paradigm shift is gaining momentum in several water scarce countries like Saudi Arabia. However, microbial problems associated with reclaimed water may hinder the use of reclaimed water for agricultural irrigation. Of particular concern is that the occurrence of antibiotic residues in the reclaimed water can select for antibiotic resistance genes among the microbial community. Antibiotic resistance genes can be associated with mobile genetic elements, which in turn allow a promiscuous transfer of resistance traits from one bacterium to another. Together with the pathogens that are present in the reclaimed water, antibiotic resistant bacteria can potentially exchange mobile genetic elements to create the “perfect microbial storm”. Given the significance of this issue, a deeper understanding of the occurrence of antibiotics in reclaimed water, and their potential influence on the selection of resistant microorganisms would be essential. In this review paper, we collated literature over the past two decades to determine the occurrence of antibiotics in municipal wastewater and livestock manure. We then discuss how these antibiotic resistant bacteria may impose a potential microbial risk to the environment and public health, and the knowledge gaps that would have to be addressed in future studies. Overall, the collation of the literature in wastewater treatment and agriculture serves to frame and identify potential concerns with respect to antibiotics, antibiotic resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes in reclaimed water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)
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Open AccessReview Tracking Change: A Look at the Ecological Footprint of Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Resistance
Antibiotics 2013, 2(2), 191-205; doi:10.3390/antibiotics2020191
Received: 16 February 2013 / Revised: 19 March 2013 / Accepted: 20 March 2013 / Published: 27 March 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Among the class of pollutants considered as ‘emerging contaminants’, antibiotic compounds including drugs used in medical therapy, biocides and disinfectants merit special consideration because their bioactivity in the environment is the result of their functional design. Antibiotics can alter the structure and [...] Read more.
Among the class of pollutants considered as ‘emerging contaminants’, antibiotic compounds including drugs used in medical therapy, biocides and disinfectants merit special consideration because their bioactivity in the environment is the result of their functional design. Antibiotics can alter the structure and function of microbial communities in the receiving environment and facilitate the development and spread of resistance in critical species of bacteria including pathogens. Methanogenesis, nitrogen transformation and sulphate reduction are among the key ecosystem processes performed by bacteria in nature that can also be affected by the impacts of environmental contamination by antibiotics. Together, the effects of the development of resistance in bacteria involved in maintaining overall ecosystem health and the development of resistance in human, animal and fish pathogens, make serious contributions to the risks associated with environmental pollution by antibiotics. In this brief review, we discuss the multiple impacts on human and ecosystem health of environmental contamination by antibiotic compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environmental Footprint of Antibiotics)

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