Effects of the antibiotic enrofloxacin on the ecology of tropical eutrophic freshwater microcosms

A. Rico, M. Rocha Dimitrov, R.P.A. van Wijngaarden, K. Satapornvanit, H. Smidt, P.J. van den Brink

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The main objective of the present study was to assess the ecological impacts of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic enrofloxacin on the structure and functioning of tropical freshwater ecosystems. Enrofloxacin was applied at a concentration of 1, 10, 100 and 1000µg/L for 7 consecutive days in 600-L outdoor microcosms in Thailand. The ecosystem-level effects of enrofloxacin were monitored on five structural (macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, phytoplankton, periphyton and bacteria) and two functional (organic matter decomposition and nitrogen cycling) endpoint groups for 4 weeks after the last antibiotic application. Enrofloxacin was found to dissipate relatively fast from the water column (half-dissipation time: 11.7h), and about 11% of the applied dose was transformed into its main by-product ciprofloxacin after 24h. Consistent treatment-related effects on the invertebrate and primary producer communities and on organic matter decomposition could not be demonstrated. Enrofloxacin significantly affected the structure of leaf-associated bacterial communities at the highest treatment level, and reduced the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and ammonia-oxidizing archaea in the sediments, with calculated NOECs of 10 and
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-104
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • 16s ribosomal-rna
  • risk-assessment
  • fluoroquinolone antibiotics
  • microbial-populations
  • veterinary medicines
  • aquatic microcosms
  • primary producers
  • ciprofloxacin
  • community
  • toxicity


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