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Occurrence, source, and ecological risk of antibiotics in Dongting Lake, China

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The pollution characteristics and ecological risk of 12 classified as sulfonamide, trimethoprim, quinolone, and tetracycline antibiotics in Dongting Lake, China, were studied. The total concentrations of the antibiotics ranged from 1.06 to 135.40 ng L−1 for all sampling sites. The highest average concentration was observed for sulfadiazine, followed by sulfamethoxazole. The detection frequencies (over 60%) of sulfonamides were higher than those of other antibiotics. The direct discharge of the aquaculture, livestock, and poultry wastewater might be the main pollution sources of antibiotics in the Dongting Lake. The pollution levels of antibiotics decreased in the order of East Dongting Lake > South Dongting Lake > West Dongting Lake, which may be related to the distribution and the scale of the aquaculture, livestock, and poultry sources. The seasonal changes of antibiotic concentration were relatively diversified, with the dry season generally having higher concentrations than the wet season. The results of the ecological risk assessment indicated that sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin, and sarafloxacin might pose a significant risk to the aquatic organisms in Dongting Lake, especially in Potou and Nandu. This study enriches the research of emerging pollutants in freshwater lake.

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This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grant no. 2015FY110900) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41672340). The authors would like to thank the assistance of Prof. Weihao Zhang and Dr. Yixiao Wu from Wuhan University and Prof. Fang Yang from Tsinghua University.

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Correspondence to Shaoyong Lu or Weiliang Wang.

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Responsible editor: Ester Heath

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Liu, X., Lu, S., Meng, W. et al. Occurrence, source, and ecological risk of antibiotics in Dongting Lake, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 11063–11073 (2018).

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  • Antibiotics
  • Dongting Lake
  • Aquatic environment
  • Pollution source
  • Ecological risk