In the last years more and more often detections of antimicrobially active compounds ("antibiotics") in surface waters have been reported. As a possible input pathway in most cases municipal sewage has been discussed. But as an input from the realm of agriculture is conceivable as well, in this study it should be investigated if an input can occur via the pathway application of liquid manure on fields with the subsequent mechanisms surface run-off/interflow, leaching, and drift. For this purpose a series of surface waters, soils, and liquid manures from North Rhine-Westphalia (Northwestern Germany) were sampled and analyzed for up to 29 compounds by HPLC-MS/MS. In each of the surface waters antibiotics could be detected. The highest concentrations were found in samples from spring (300 ng/L of erythromycin). Some of the substances detected (e.g., tylosin), as well as characteristics in the landscape suggest an input from agriculture in some particular cases. In the investigation of different liquid manure samples by a fast immunoassay method sulfadimidine could be detected in the range of 1...2 mg/kg. Soil that had been fertilized with this liquid manure showed a content of sulfadimidine extractable by accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) of 15 ??g/kg dry weight even 7 months after the application. This indicates the high stability of some antibiotics in manure and soil.
Additional publication details
Determination of antibiotic residues in manure, soil, and surface waters