Multi-residue method for the determination of antibiotics and some of their metabolites in seafood

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The presence of antibiotics in seafood for human consumption may pose a risk for consumers. A methodology for the analysis of antibiotics in seafood based on QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe) extraction, followed by detection and quantification using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry was developed. The analytical method was evaluated for the determination of 23 antibiotics (including parent compounds and some metabolites) in fish, mussels and clams. Recoveries ranged between 30% and 70% for most of the compounds and method detection and quantification limits (MDLs and MQLs) were between 0.01 and 0.31 ng/g dry weigh (dw) and 0.02–1.03 ng/g (dw) respectively. Real seafood samples were analysed using this method. Nine antibiotics were found at levels above MDLs; however none of them exceed the maximum residue limits (MRL) established by the authorities. Tetracycline was the most ubiquitous compound, presenting also the highest concentration: 5.63 ng/g (dw) in fish from Netherlands. In addition, an alternative technique based on microbial growth inhibition was explored as semiquantitative detection method of antibiotics in seafood. This methodology c ould be applied as a fast screening technique for the detection of macrolides and β-lactams in seafood but further research is needed for other antibiotics families ​
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