Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 8, pp 3573–3582 | Cite as

Microbial degradation of sulfamethoxazole in the environment

  • Jianlong Wang
  • Shizong Wang


Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) is one of the most widely applied sulfonamide antibiotics in the world, which is becoming a ubiquitous pollutant in the environment. In this mini-review, the microbial degradation of SMX was briefly reviewed. The performance of the conventional wastewater treatment plants in removing SMX was provided. The microorganisms capable of degrading SMX, including mixed cultures and pure cultures, were presented. The effects of environmental conditions such as temperature, pH, initial SMX concentration, and additional carbon sources on the biodegradation of SMX were discussed. The metabolic pathways of SMX degradation were summarized. Finally, the suggestions were made for further studies.


Sulfamethoxazole Biodegradation Antibiotics PPCPs Emerging contaminants 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51338005), the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT-13026), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M610920).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Environmental TechnologyINET, Tsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution ControlTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Radioactive Waste TreatmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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