, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 526–538 | Cite as

Hazard assessment of commonly used agricultural antibiotics on aquatic ecosystems

  • Sujung Park
  • Kyungho Choi


In this study, eleven commonly used antibiotics including sulfonamides, tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, and beta-lactams were evaluated for their acute and chronic aquatic toxicities using standard test organisms e.g., Vibrio fischeri, Daphnia magna, Moina macrocopa, and Oryzias latipes. Among the antibiotics tested for acute toxicity, neomycin was most toxic followed by trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole and enrofloxacin. Sulfamethazine, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, sulfadimethoxine and sulfathiazole were of intermediate toxicity, while ampicillin and amoxicillin were least toxic to the test organisms. There were no trends in sensitivity among test organisms or among different classes of the antibiotics. Only the beta-lactam class was the least toxic. In chronic toxicity test, neomycin affected reproduction and adult survival of D. magna and M. macrocopa with low mg/l levels exposure. Predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs) were derived from the acute and chronic toxicity information gleaned from this study and from literature. When the PNECs were compared with measured environmental concentrations (MECs) reported elsewhere for the test compounds, hazard quotients for sulfamethoxazole, sulfathiazole, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, and amoxicillin exceeded unity, which suggests potential ecological implication. Therefore, further studies including monitoring and detailed toxicological studies are required to assess potential ecological risk of these frequently used veterinary antibiotics.


Veterinary antibiotics Hazard assessment Acute toxicity test Chronic toxicity tests Predicted no effect concentration 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public HealthSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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