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Investigation of antibiotics in sea cucumbers: occurrence, pollution characteristics, and human risk assessment

Zhu, Minghua, Zhao, Hongxia, Chen, Jingwen, Xie, Huaijun, Du, Juan
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.32 pp. 32081-32087
Holothuroidea, antibiotics, coasts, fluoroquinolones, human health, humans, macrolides, pollution, principal component analysis, risk, risk assessment, solvents, sulfonamides, tandem mass spectrometry, ultra-performance liquid chromatography, China, South China Sea
Occurrence and distribution of 24 antibiotics from 7 categories were screened in sea cucumbers (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) collected from different coastal regions of China. The samples were simultaneously extracted and purified using accelerated solvent extraction with in-cell clean-up and analyzed by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. A total of ten antibiotics were detected in the sea cucumbers with concentrations ranging from not detected to 32.8 μg/kg (dry weight). Sulfonamides are predominant antibiotics with a mean concentration of 11.5 μg/kg (dry weight), followed by macrolides (11.3 μg/kg, dry weight) and fluoroquinolones (11.2 μg/kg, dry weight). High concentrations of the antibiotics were found in the samples from the South China Sea, implying that the antibiotic pollution in sea cucumbers was geographical region-dependent, which was further confirmed by principal component analysis. It was also found that the antibiotic levels are slightly higher in instant sea cucumbers than in the dried ones. Hazard quotient calculation suggested no obvious human health risks associated with the consumption of sea cucumbers regarding antibiotics.