The fate of antibiotics that bind to riverine sediment is not well understood. A solution used in geochemical extraction schemes to determine loosely bound species in sediments, 1 M MgCl2 (pH 8), was chosen to determine loosely bound, and potentially bioavailable, tetracycline antibiotics (TCs), including oxytetracycline (5-OH tetracycline) (OTC) in sediment samples from two rivers on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Bottom sediments were collected at sites upstream from, at, and downstream from municipal sewage-treatment plants (STPs) situated on two natural waterways, Yellow Bank Stream, MD, and the Pocomoke River, MD. Concentrations of easily desorbed OTC ranged from 0.6 to approximately 1.2 ??g g-1 dry wt sediment in Yellow Bank Stream and from 0.7 to approximately 3.3 ??g g-1 dry wt sediment in the Pocomoke River. Concentrations of easily desorbable OTC were generally smaller in sediment upstream than in sediment downstream from the STP in the Pocomoke River. STPs and poultry manure are both potential sources of OTC to these streams. OTC that is loosely bound to sediment is subject to desorption. Other researchers have found desorbed TCs to be biologically active compounds.
Additional publication details
Loosely bound oxytetracycline in riverine sediments from two tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay