Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 11565–11575 | Cite as

Antibiotic residues in liquid manure from swine feedlot and their effects on nearby groundwater in regions of North China

  • Xiaohua Li
  • Chong Liu
  • Yongxing Chen
  • Hongkun Huang
  • Tianzhi Ren
Research Article


A survey was conducted in regions of North China to better understand the effect of antibiotic residue pollution from swine feedlots to nearby groundwater environment. A total of nine experimental sites located in the regions of Beijing, Hebei, and Tianjin were selected to analyze the presence of residues of 11 most commonly used antibiotics, including tetracyclines (TCs), fluoroquinolones (FQNs), sulfonamides (SAs), macrolides, and fenicols, by using liquid chromatography spectrometry. The three most common antibiotics were TCs, FQNs, and SAs, with mean concentrations of 416.4, 228.8, and 442.4 μg L−1 in wastewater samples; 19.9, 11.8, and 0.3 μg L−1 in groundwater samples from swine feedlots; and 29.7, 14.0, and 0 μg L−1 in groundwater samples from villages. Ordination analysis revealed that the composition and distribution of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (AGRs) were similar in groundwater samples from swine feedlots and villages. FQNs and TCs occurred along the path from wastewater to groundwater at high concentrations and showed correlations with ARGs, with a strong correlation between FQN resistance gene (qnrA) copy number. FQN concentration was also found (P < 0.01) in wastewater and groundwater in villages (P < 0.01). Therefore, antibiotics discharged from swine feedlots through wastewater could disseminate into surrounding groundwater environments together with ARG occurrence (i.e., qnrA, sulI, sulII, tetG, tetM, and tetO). Overall, this study suggests that the spread of veterinary antibiotics from swine feedlots to groundwater environments should be highly attended and controlled by restricting excess antibiotic usage or improving the technology of manure management.


Antibiotics Swine feedlot Groundwater ·wastewater Antibiotic resistance gene 



This study was financially supported by the Science and Technology Program of Tianjin (14ZCZDNC00013) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD080060 and 2017YFD0801400).

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 18.0 kb)
11356_2018_1339_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 17.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaohua Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chong Liu
    • 3
  • Yongxing Chen
    • 3
  • Hongkun Huang
    • 2
  • Tianzhi Ren
    • 1
  1. 1.Agro-environmental Protection Institute, Ministry of AgricultureTianjinChina
  2. 2.Rural Energy and Environment Agency, Ministry of AgricultureBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in AgricultureChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina

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