Researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid and Alcala confirmed in the laboratory that two widely used antibiotics, clarithromycin and azithromycin, can adhere to microplastics and then be released into the aquatic environment to affect photosynthetic microorganisms.
In recent years, people have paid more and more attention to polluting compounds that eventually enter the environment. For example, in 2018, the European Union ruled that certain harmful substances found in fresh water should be closely monitored.
The recommendation and the growing evidence that there is Lipoprotein In most ecosystems on the planet, from University of Alcala (UAH) with Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) Study the possible environmental impact of microplastics and microplastics Antibiotics.
Specifically, they focused on two included in the list of EU recommendations for monitoring in waters: Azithromycin with Clarithromycin. To this end, they created the conditions of a freshwater environment in the laboratory and observed its impact on the microorganisms living in it.
The results are published in the journal Chemical layer, Indicating that both antibiotics can adhere to different types of microplastics, especially polystyrene, and then partially released.
The co-author said: “This is the first study to show that azithromycin and clarithromycin can be done. This is important because they are the two most widely used antibiotics and meet European standards.” Irene Verdú.
Studies have pointed out that microplastics found in environments with high concentrations of antibiotics (such as treatment plants) can transport these toxic substances to places they have never been exposed to before.
Effect on microorganisms
The co-author said: “These antibiotics may have an impact on the organisms that live in these places, especially primary producers.” Alicia Pedrouzo-Rodríguez (Alicia Pedrouzo-Rodríguez).
In fact, only microplastics are not toxic to the cyanobacteria used in the experiment. However, when antibiotics were loaded, the growth and chlorophyll content of the microorganism was significantly inhibited.
Most of the antibiotics absorbed in the tiny plastic are released after contact with the cyanobacteria culture. According to the authors, this indicates that they can be used as carriers of antibiotics in freshwater systems to affect the basic nutrient levels of photosynthetic microorganisms.
The authors concluded that this work “try to open the door to future research on the role of water. Microplastics as transporters of antibiotics between different ecosystems, Although more investigations outside the laboratory are needed to confirm whether this is also happening in the environment.”
Conduct an experimental protocol to study the role of microplastics as possible carriers of antibiotics clarithromycin and azithromycin/González-Pleiter et al.
González-Pleiter et al. “Use microplastics as carriers of antibiotics azithromycin and clarithromycin: effects on freshwater microalgae”. Chemical layer2020 year