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Antibiotics in the aquatic environments: A review of lakes, China

Liu, Xiaohui, Lu, Shaoyong, Guo, Wei, Xi, Beidou, Wang, Weiliang
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.627 pp. 1195-1208
antibiotic resistance genes, antibiotics, aquatic environment, aquatic organisms, economic development, human health, lakes, maximum residue limits, quinolones, risk, sediments, China
The potential threat of antibiotics to the environment and human health has raised significant concerns in recent years. The consumption and production of antibiotics in China are the highest in the world due to its rapid economic development and huge population, possibly resulting in the high detection frequencies and concentrations of antibiotics in aquatic environments of China. As a water resource, lakes in China play an important role in sustainable economic and social development. Understanding the current state of antibiotics in lakes in China is important. Closed and semi-closed lakes provide an ideal medium for the accumulation of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). This review summarizes the current levels of antibiotic exposure in relevant environmental compartments in lakes. The ecological and health risks of antibiotics are also evaluated. This review concludes that 39 antibiotics have been detected in the aquatic environments of lakes in China. The levels of antibiotic contamination in lakes in China is relatively high on the global scale. Antibiotic contamination is higher in sediment than water and aquatic organisms. Quinolone antibiotics (QNs) pose the greatest risks. The contents of antibiotics in aquatic organisms are far lower than their maximum residual limits (MRLs), with the exception of the organisms in Honghu Lake. The lakes experience high levels of ARG contamination. A greater assessment of ARG presence and antibiotic exposure are urgent.