Tracing veterinary antibiotics in the subsurface e A long-term field experiment with spiked manure*
The purpose of this long-term experiment was on gaining more insights into the environmental behaviour of veterinary antibiotics in the subsurface after application with manure. Therefore, manure spiked with a bromide tracer and eight antibiotics (enrofloxacin, lincomycin, sulfadiazine, sulfamethazine, tetracycline, tiamulin, tilmicosin and tylosin) in concentrations of milligrams per litre were applied at an experimental field site. Their pathway was tracked by continuous extraction of soil pore water at different depths and systematic sampling of groundwater for a period of two years. Seven target compounds were detected in soil pore water of which four leached into groundwater. Concentrations of the detected target compounds were, with few exceptions, in the range of nanograms per litre. It was concluded that a large fraction of the investigated antibiotics sorbed or degraded already within the first meter of the soil. Further, it was inferred from the data that long and warm dry periods cause attenuation of the target compounds through increased degradation or sorption occurring in the soil. In addition, the comprehensive data-set allowed to estimate a retardation factor between 1.1 and 2.0 for sulfamethazine in a Plaggic Anthrosol soil, and to classify the individual compounds by environmental relevance based on transport behaviour and persistence. According to the distribution of resistant genes in the environment, sulfamethazine was found to be the most mobile and persistent substance.
Geological Survey Netherlands
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Long-term field experiment
Environmental Pollution, 265, 1-14