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Evaluation of food chain transfer of the antibiotic oxytetracycline and human risk assessment

Boonsaner, Maliwan, Hawker, Darryl W.
Chemosphere 2013 v.93 pp. 1009-1014
Wolffia, bioaccumulation factor, carp, food chain, humans, oxytetracycline, risk assessment
There has been recent concern regarding the possibility of antibiotics entering the aquatic food chain and impacting human consumers. This work reports experimental results of the bioconcentration of the antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC) by the Asian watermeal plant (Wolffia globosa Hartog & Plas) and bioaccumulation of OTC in watermeal and water by the seven-striped carp (Probarbus jullieni). They show, for the first time, the extent to which OTC is able to transfer from water to plant to fish and enter the food chain. The mean bioconcentration factor (dry weight basis) with watermeal was 1.28×103Lkg−1. Separate experiments were undertaken to characterize accumulation of OTC by carp from water and watermeal. These showed the latter pathway to be dominant under the conditions employed. The bioconcentration and biomagnification factors for these processes were 1.75Lkg−1 and 2×10−4kgg−1 respectively. Using an aqueous concentration range of 0.34–3.0μgL−1, hazard quotients for human consumption of contaminated fish of 1.3×10−2 to 1.15×10−1 were derived.