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Antiviral drugs in aquatic environment and wastewater treatment plants: A review on occurrence, fate, removal and ecotoxicity

Nannou, Christina, Ofrydopoulou, Anna, Evgenidou, Eleni, Heath, David, Heath, Ester, Lambropoulou, Dimitra
The Science of the total environment 2020 v.699 pp. 134322
antiviral agents, aquatic environment, drug residues, ecotoxicology, environmental fate, freshwater ecosystems, metabolites, monitoring, oseltamivir, risk, surface water, surveys, wastewater, wastewater treatment, water quality, France, Germany, Japan, North America, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, United Kingdom
The environmental release of antiviral drugs is of considerable concern due to potential ecosystem alterations and the development of antiviral resistance. As a result, interest on their occurrence and fate in natural and engineered systems has grown substantially in recent years. The main scope of this review is to fill the void of information on the knowledge on the worldwide occurrence of antiviral drugs in wastewaters and natural waters and correlate their levels with their environmental fate. According to the conducted literature survey, few monitoring data exists for several European countries, such as Germany, France, and the UK. Lesser data are available for Asia, where approximately 80% of the studies focus on Japan. Several articles study the occurrence of mostly antiretroantivirals in sub-Saharan African countries, while there is a lack of data for other developing regions of the world, including the rest of Africa, South America, and the biggest part of Asia. An importantly smaller number of studies exists for North America, while no studies exist for Oceania. The against innfluenza drug oseltamivir along with its active carboxy metabolite is found to be the most studied antiviral drug. The distribution of antiviral drugs across all geographic regions varies from low ng L−1 to high μg L−1 levels, in some cases, even in surface waters. This overarching review reveals that monitoring of antiviral drugs is necessary, and some of those compounds may require toxicological attention, in the light of either spatial and temporal high concentration or potential antiviral resistance. Based on the information provided herein, the need for a better understanding of the water quality hazards posed by antiviral drugs existence in wastewater outputs and freshwater ecosystems is demosntrated. Finally, the future challenges concerning the occurrence, fate, and potential ecotoxicological risk to organisms posed by antiviral drug residues are discussed.