Fish antibiotics probed.

Date: November 13, 2010

Fish antibiotics probed.

The health of animals and fish is one of the primary concerns in the
farming industry and antibiotics are at the forefront of the defence
team. They are administered to fight microbial infections, which they do
very effectively, but they are also used illegally as growth promoters.

This practice is banned by the EU because continued consumption of meat
containing antimicrobial residues can lead to the development of
antibiotic resistance in humans.

The EU has set maximum residue limits for a series of antibiotics, which
requires that accurate and robust analytical procedures are in place to
measure them. Although there are numerous published methods for
antibiotic determination in animal tissue, there are not so many methods
for fish and bivalves. Those that exist rely on HPLC, LC/MS and
capillary electrophoresis but one of the more difficult steps in the
analysis is sample extraction.

Antibiotics bind to proteins and peptides in the tissue, so need to be
dissociated before they can be extracted. One of the classical
procedures is enzymatic digestion, especially in the forensic and
toxicological sciences. The connective tissue is degraded by one of
several enzymes, often in an ultrasonic bath, to release the antibiotics
and allow their extraction. This is an effective procedure but suffers
from a long digestion time, which can run into hours or even days.

Now, a team of Spanish researchers has devised an enzymatic method for
antibiotic removal from fish and mussels that takes just a few minutes.
Senior reporter Miguel Angel Bello Lopez with colleagues Rut
Fernandez-Torresa, Mario Olias Consentinoa, Manuel Callejon Mochona and
Juan Luis Perez-Bernal from the University of Seville employed an
ultrasonic probe, reckoning that its 100-fold increase in energy over an
ultrasonic bath would improve performance.

They tested the procedure for 11 antibiotics and 5 metabolites covering
four compound classes ...

See the source ( for full information.

[Go to to access Fernandez-Torres, et al
(2010). Application of enzymatic probe sonication extraction for the
determination of selected veterinary antibiotics and their main
metabolites in fish and mussel samples. Analytica Chimica Acta.,675
(2): 156-164. ADS-Mod.]

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