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Occurrence of Antimicrobial Residues in Pasteurized Milk Commercialized in the State of Paraná, Brazil

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Milk containing antimicrobial residues presents a health risk to the human population. The objective of this study was to use an enzyme-immunoassay technique to determine the occurrence of antimicrobial residues in 151 samples of pasteurized milk sold in cities of the State of Paraná, Brazil, from March 2005 to April 2006. Fifty-nine (41.3%) of the 151 samples contained antimicrobial residues. Residues of neomycin, streptomycin, and/or dihydrostreptomycin and chloramphenicol were found in three, two, and four, respectively. None of the samples with neomycin residues had levels above the maximum residue limit (MRL) permitted in this country, which is 500 μg/kg. Only one sample had a higher level of streptomycin-dihydrostreptomycin (260 μg/kg) than the MRL (200 μg/kg). The four samples positive for chloramphenicol had levels above the zero tolerance level. In the qualitative analysis, 41 of 151 samples contained tetracyclines (tetracycline, chlortetracycline, and/or oxytetracycline), 4 of 82 samples contained gentamicin, and 5 of 151 samples contained β-lactams (amoxicillin, ampicillin, ceftiofur, cephapirin, and/or penicillin G). It was not possible to determine whether the levels of the antimicrobials found in the qualitative analyses (tetracyclines, gentamicin, and β-lactams) were above the MRLs because the detection limits were below the MRLs in Brazil. In nine samples, two or more antimicrobial residues were found. The results demonstrate the need for monitoring various antimicrobial residues in pasteurized milk to ensure safety, quality, and integrity and to protect the health of the Brazilian population.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Clinical Analysis, Toxicology Laboratory, State University of Maringá, Avenida Colombo 5790, CEP 87020-900, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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