Manzetti S, Ghisi R
Mar. Pollut. Bull. 79 (1-2) 7-15 [2014-02-15; online 2014-01-20]
Antibiotics have been used as medical remedies for over 50 years and have recently emerged as new pollutants in the environment. This review encompasses the fate of several antibiotics in the environment, including sulfonamides, nitrofurans, terfenadines, cephalosporins and cyclosporins. It investigates the cycle of transfer from humans and animals including their metabolic transformation. The results show that antibiotic metabolites are of considerable persistence and are localized to ground-water and drinking water supplies. Furthermore, the results also show that several phases of the cycle of antibiotics in the environment are not well understood, such as how low concentrations of antibiotic metabolites in the diet affect humans and animals. This review also shows that improved wastewater decontamination processes are remediating factors for these emerging pollutants. The results obtained here may help legislators and authorities in understanding the fate and transformation of antibiotics in the environment.