Degradation, persistence, mobility and bioavailability of veterinary pharmaceuticals in soil, water and sediment


Veterinary pharmaceuticals have emerged in recent years as a contaminant of concern in the environment. While not applied to soil and water bodies directly, veterinary pharmaceuticals enter the ecosystem after being excreted by grazing livestock or by the spreading of manue on agricultural fields as fertilizer. As with other chemicals, veterinary pharmaceuticals may have detrimental effects on aquatic and terrestrial organisms, particularly on bacteria where they may contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Picture of a high performance liquid chromatography machine typically used for detection of veterinary pharmaceuticals.Research in the lab has primarily focused on three veterinary antibiotics: erythromycin, sulfamethazine, and tylosin. Understanding the degradation, persistence, mobility, and bioavailability of these veterinary antibiotics is important for determining any adverse effects they may have on the ecosystem. Other research in the lab has focused on improving the methods used to detect these veterinary antibiotics in environmental samples.


Some relevant publications:

Carstens, K.L., A.D. Gross, T.B. Moorman, J.R. Coats. 2013. Sorption and photodegradation processes govern distribution and fate of sulfamethazine in freshwater–sediment microcosms. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47(19): 10877-10883

Jessick, A.M., T.B. Moorman, J.R. Coats. 2011. Optimization of analytical methods to improve detection of erythromycin from water and sediment. J. Environ. Sci. Health, Part B 46(8): 735-740

Henderson, K.L., and J.R. Coats, Editors.2009. Veterinary Pharmaceuticals in the Environment. American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. 247 pp.

Hu, D., and J.R. Coats. 2009. Laboratory evaluation of mobility and sorption for the veterinary antibiotic, tylosin, in agricultural soil. J. Environ. Monit.11: 1634-1638.

Hu, D., B. Fulton, K.L. Henderson, and J.R. Coats. 2008. Identification of tylosin photoreaction products and comparison of ELISA and HPLC methods for their detection in water. Environ. Sci. Technol. 42: 2982-87.