Approximately one-half of the 50 000000 lb of antibiotics produced in the USA are used in agriculture. Because of the intensive use of antibiotics in the management of confined livestock operations, the potential exists for the transport of these compounds and their metabolites into our nation's water resources. A commercially available radioimmunoassay method, developed as a screen for tetracycline antibiotics in serum, urine, milk, and tissue, was adapted to analyze water samples at a detection level of approximately 1.0 ppb and a semiquantitative analytical range of 1-20 ppb. Liquid waste samples were obtained from 13 hog lagoons in three states and 52 surface- and ground-water samples were obtained primarily from areas associated with intensive swine and poultry production in seven states. These samples were screened for the tetracycline antibiotics by using the modified radioimmunoassay screening method. The radioimmunoassay tests yielded positive results for tetracycline antibiotics in samples from all 13 of the hog lagoons. Dilutions of 10-100-fold of the hog lagoon samples indicated that tetracycline antibiotic concentrations ranged from approximately 5 to several hundred parts per billion in liquid hog lagoon waste. Of the 52 surface- and ground-water samples collected all but two tested negative and these two samples contained tetracycline antibiotic concentrations less than 1 ppb. A new liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method was used to confirm the radioimmunoassay results in 9 samples and also to identify the tetracycline antibiotics to which the radioimmunoassay test was responding. The new liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method with online solid-phase extraction and a detection level of 0.5 ??g/l confirmed the presence of chlorotetracycline in the hog lagoon samples and in one of the surface-water samples. The concentrations calculated from the radioimmunoassay were a factor of 1-5 times less than those calculated by the liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry concentrations for chlorotetracycline. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
Additional publication details
Use of radioimmunoassay as a screen for antibiotics in confined animal feeding operations and confirmation by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry