Comparison of the occurrence of antibiotic residues in two rural ponds: implication for ecopharmacovigilance

  • Dan Chen
  • Song Liu
  • Mengya Zhang
  • Shulan Li
  • Jun WangEmail author


As a well-accepted drug-administration strategy for the minimization of environmental risks posed by pharmaceutical residues, ecopharmacovigilance (EPV) needs to guard against and control the pharmaceutical pollution sources. However, the underlying routes by which pharmaceuticals reach the environment vary significantly under different scenes, so it is necessary to implement different EPV measures in different backgrounds. This study detected the occurrence of antibiotic residues in two ponds within a Chinese rural community; assessed their ecological risks; compared and analyzed the geographic and demographic information, as well as the antibiotic-related anthropogenic behaviors of residents living around ponds, in order to trace the main entrances of antibiotics into the water environment; and then propose the EPV measures according to rural conditions. The results showed that the pollution degree of antibiotic residues was different between two studied ponds, which was manifested by the different antibiotic types and levels in water samples. And the possible main sources of antibiotic pollution in the studied rural water environment might include the application of human excretions and animal manures as fertilizers on the farmland, antibiotic use and inappropriate disposal in the clinic, and the direct disposal of the leftover antibiotics. From the perspective of drug administration, we then identified some suggestions on EPV measures which could be taken under existing rural conditions, including encouraging eco-directed sustainable prescribing of antibiotics in human and animals, improving take-back collection of unused antibiotics, building monitoring mechanism for antibiotic residues in the natural environment, identifying high-priority antibiotic residues, and implementing targeted EPV.


Water environment Pharmaceuticals Antibacterial drug administration Rural area Ecopharmacovigilance measures 



Funding of the study came from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81602108), Humanities and Social Science Foundation from Hubei Province Ministry of Education (No. 16Y023), Research Program of Hubei Provincial Department of Education (No. B2017012), and Research Program of Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Occupational Hazard Identification and Control (Nos. OHIC2017G07 and OHIC2017G05).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Chen
    • 1
  • Song Liu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mengya Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Shulan Li
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jun Wang
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Wuhan Institute for Food and Cosmetic ControlWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacy, College of MedicineWuhan University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  3. 3.Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Occupational Hazard Identification and ControlWuhan University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

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