Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 386, Issue 4, pp 973–985 | Cite as

Determination of antimicrobial residues and metabolites in the aquatic environment by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry

  • M. Silvia Díaz-Cruz
  • Damià Barceló


Antimicrobials are used in large quantities in human and veterinary medicine. Their environmental occurrence is of particular concern due to the potential spread and maintenance of bacterial resistance. After intake by the organisms, the unchanged drug and its metabolized forms are excreted and enter wastewater treatment plants where they are mostly incompletely eliminated, and are therefore eventually released into the aquatic environment. The reliable detection of several antimicrobials in different environmental aqueous compartments is the result of great improvements achieved in analytical chemistry. This article provides an overview of the more outstanding analytical methods based on liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, developed and applied to determine antimicrobial residues and metabolites present in surface, waste, and ground waters.


Antimicrobials Pharmaceuticals Solid-phase extraction Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry Water analysis 



This work has been funded by the EU Framework VI Programme (Project NOMIRACLE, Co.No: 003956-2), and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (Project EVITA, CTM2004-06265-CO3-01/TECNO). M.S. Díaz-Cruz acknowledges her Ramon y Cajal contract from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ChemistryIIQAB-CSICBarcelonaSpain

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