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Occurrence and human dietary assessment of sulfonamide antibiotics in cultured fish around Tai Lake, China

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As the most important fishery medicines, sulfonamides are widely used to prevent diseases caused by pathogens in aquaculture. However, relatively little is known about the residues and dietary risks associated with cultured fish around Tai Lake. In the present study, a sampling strategy for a complete aquaculture period was conducted. Specifically, 12 selected sulfonamide antibiotics were measured among 116 fish samples recruited from four sampling periods, four species, four areas, and 18 fish ponds. All 12 antibiotics were detected at detection frequencies of 4.31–28.45%. Total sulfonamides were detected in 77.59% of the fish samples, with 57.76% of fish samples containing from 0.1 to 10 μg kg−1. Sulfadiazine (SDZ), sulfamethoxazole (SMZ), sulfamethazine (SDD), and sulfamonomethoxine (SMM) were the main types of antibiotics used, and these were present at high concentrations (>100 μg kg−1) with high occurrences, especially in the middle of the aquaculture season. Dietary assessment showed that residual antibiotics in all fish that were being sent to market were far below the maximum residue limit (MRL) of total sulfonamides and that there was almost no risk associated with fish consumption. The results of the present study will facilitate development of effective measures to produce safe aquatic products and meaningful suggestions for consuming aquatic products.

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The authors acknowledge the constructive comments of anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by the National Nonprofit Institute Research Grant of the FFRC (2017JBFM09) and the National Quality and Safety Project of the Aquatic Product of China (GJFP201600903).

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Correspondence to Jiazhang Chen.

Additional information

Chao Song and Le Li are the authors who contributed equally to this work.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Song, C., Li, L., Zhang, C. et al. Occurrence and human dietary assessment of sulfonamide antibiotics in cultured fish around Tai Lake, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 17493–17499 (2017).

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  • Detection frequency
  • Dietary assessment
  • Sulfonamide antibiotics
  • Aquaculture