Occurrence of Chloramphenicol in Crops through Natural Production by Bacteria in Soil

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Due to the unexpected findings of the banned antibiotic chloramphenicol in products of animal origin, feed, and straw, the hypothesis was studied that the drug is naturally present in soil, through production by soil bacteria, and subsequently can be transferred to crops. First, the stability of chloramphenicol in soil was studied. The fate of chloramphenicol highly depends on soil type and showed a half-life of approximately one day in nonsterile topsoil. It was found to be more stable in subsoil and sterile soils. Second, the production of chloramphenicol in soil was studied, and it was confirmed that Streptomyces venezuelae can produce chloramphenicol at appreciable amounts in nonsterile soil. Third, a transfer study was carried out using wheat and maize grown on three different soils that were weekly exposed to aqueous chloramphenicol solutions at different levels. Chloramphenicol was taken up by crops as determined by chiral liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometric analysis, and the...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4004-4010
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • streptomyces-venezuelae
  • vegetables
  • plants
  • manure


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