, Volume 395, Issue 4, pp 921-946

An overview of sample preparation procedures for LC-MS multiclass antibiotic determination in environmental and food samples

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Abstract

Antibiotics are a class of pharmaceuticals that are of great interest due to the large volumes of these substances that are consumed in both human and veterinary medicine, and due to their status as the agents responsible for bacterial resistance. They can be present in foodstuffs and in environmental samples as multicomponent chemical mixtures that exhibit a wide range of mechanisms of action. Moreover, they can be transformed into different metabolites by the action of microorganisms, as well as by other physical or chemical means, resulting in mixtures with higher ecotoxicities and risks to human health than those of the individual compounds. Therefore, there is growing interest in the availability of multiclass methods for the analysis of antimicrobial mixtures in environmental and food samples at very low concentrations. Liquid chromatography (LC) has become the technique of choice for multiclass analysis, especially when coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and tandem MS (LC-MS2). However, due to the complexity of the matrix, in most cases an extraction step for sample clean-up and preconcentration is required before analysis in order to achieve the required sensitivities. This paper reviews the most recent developments and applications of multiclass antimicrobial determination in environmental and food matrices, emphasizing the practical aspects of sample preparation for the simultaneous extraction of antimicrobials from the selected samples. Future trends in the application of LC-MS-based techniques to multiclass antibiotic analysis are also presented.