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    Antibiotic residues in final effluents of European wastewater treatment plants and their impact on the aquatic environment

    Rodriguez-Mozaz, Sara and Vaz-Moreira, Ivone and Varela Della Giustina, Saulo and Llorca, Marta and Barceló, Damià and Schubert, Sara and Berendonk, Thomas U. and Michael-Kordatou, Irene and Fatta-Kassinos, Despo and Luis Martinez, Jose and Elpers, Christian and Henriques, Isabel and Jaeger, Thomas and Schwartz, Thomas and Paulshus, Erik and O'Sullivan, Kristin and Pärnänen, Katariina M. M. and Virta, Marko and Do, Thi Thuy and Walsh, Fiona and Manaia, Célia M. (2020) Antibiotic residues in final effluents of European wastewater treatment plants and their impact on the aquatic environment. Environment International, 140 (105733). pp. 1-11. ISSN 0160-4120

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    A comprehensive monitoring of a broad set of antibiotics in the final effluent of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) of 7 European countries (Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Germany, Finland, and Norway) was carried out in two consecutive years (2015 and 2016). This is the first study of this kind performed at an international level. Within the 53 antibiotics monitored 17 were detected at least once in the final effluent of the WWTPs, i.e.: ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, enrofloxacin, orbifloxacin, azithromycin, clarithromycin, sulfapyridine, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, nalidixic acid, pipemidic acid, oxolinic acid, cefalexin, clindamycin, metronidazole, ampicillin, and tetracycline. The countries exhibiting the highest effluent average concentrations of antibiotics were Ireland and the southern countries Portugal and Spain, whereas the northern countries (Norway, Finland and Germany) and Cyprus exhibited lower total concentration. The antibiotic occurrence data in the final effluents were used for the assessment of their impact on the aquatic environment. Both, environmental predicted no effect concentration (PNEC-ENVs) and the PNECs based on minimal inhibitory concentrations (PNEC-MICs) were considered for the evaluation of the impact on microbial communities in aquatic systems and on the evolution of antibiotic resistance, respectively. Based on this analysis, three compounds, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin and cefalexin are proposed as markers of antibiotic pollution, as they could occasionally pose a risk to the environment. Integrated studies like this are crucial to map the impact of antibiotic pollution and to provide the basis for designing water quality and environmental risk in regular water monitoring programs.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Antibiotic residues; final effluents; European wastewater treatment plants; impact; aquatic environment;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Item ID: 14915
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Fiona Walsh
    Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 15:28
    Journal or Publication Title: Environment International
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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