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Occurrence and distribution of veterinary antibiotics and tetracycline resistance genes in farmland soils around swine feedlots in Fujian Province, China

Abstract

Six antibiotics, tetracyclines (TCs), and quinolones (QNs) in farmland soils from four coastal cities in Fujian Province of China were investigated. Oxytetracycline was most frequently detected, followed by enrofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, chlorotetracycline, ofloxacin, and tetracycline, with maximum concentrations of 613.2, 637.3, 237.3, 2668.9, 205.7, and 189.8 μg kg−1, respectively. Samples from Putian City contained the highest maximum concentration of ∑TCs (3,064.2 μg kg−1), whereas those from Fuzhou City contained the highest maximum concentration of ∑QNs (897.8 μg kg−1). It is noteworthy that the ∑TCs and ∑QNs in 46.4 and 28.6 % of samples exceeded the ecotoxic effect trigger value (100 μg kg−1), respectively. The concentrations of these antibiotics and five tetracycline resistance genes in four soil plots at depth profiles were quantified thereafter. In most cases, both antibiotics and resistance genes decreased with the increase of depth. Some antibiotics can be detected at a depth of 60–80 cm where the abundance of tetO, tetM, and tetX reached up to 107 copies g−1. Additionally, the sum of all tet genes (normalized to 16S rRNA genes) correlated with ∑TCs significantly (r = 0.676). Our results suggest that resistance determinants can migrate to deeper soil layers and would probably contaminate groundwater by vertical transport.

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Acknowledgments

This study was financially supported by the national Natural Science Foundation of China (31100371 and 51278480), the Natural Science foundation of Fujian province of China (2011J05103, 2010J05037, and 2012J01241), the Natural Science foundation and Science and Technology Program of Zhejiang province of China (LY12C01006 and 2011C37054), the SRF for ROCS from SEM, and the special fund of State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control (12K06ESPCT). We thank Mr. Lifeng Lin for his help in measuring antibiotics.

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Correspondence to Chaoxiang Liu.

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Huang, X., Liu, C., Li, K. et al. Occurrence and distribution of veterinary antibiotics and tetracycline resistance genes in farmland soils around swine feedlots in Fujian Province, China. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20, 9066–9074 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-013-1905-5

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