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Determination of cephalosporin antibiotics in water samples by optimised solid phase extraction and high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detector

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A reliable and robust analytical method based on solid phase extraction (SPE) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with ultraviolet (UV) detector was developed for the simultaneous determination of five cephalosporin antibiotics (Ceftazidime, Cefradine, Cefaclor, Cefotaxime and Cefoperazone) in various water samples. Under optimised conditions, it was applicable to preconcentrate up to 500 ml of water samples in the OASIS HLB cartridges with reasonable recoveries for all the cephalosporin antibiotics tested. Recoveries were as follows: deionised water, tap water and groundwater, between 84.2 and 98.9%; surface water, between 71.2 and 81.0%; influent and effluent of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), between 56.9 and 72.1%. The method detection limits (MDLs) for different water samples were in the range of 26 to 59 ng l−1. Real water samples were analysed using the proposed approach to demonstrate the applicability and validation. Negative results were obtained for the tap water and groundwater. However, all the selected cephalosporin antibiotics were identified in the influent and effluent of a local WWTP at ng l−1–µg l−1 level. In addition, Ceftazidime was found in surface water with a concentration of 0.75–2.60 µg l−1. The results indicate that the ‘pseudo-persistent’ contamination of cephalosporin antibiotics in the water environment could not be neglected.
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Keywords: cephalosporin antibiotics; high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); solid phase extraction (SPE); water sample

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China 2: Division of Environmental Science and Engineering,National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent 119260, Singapore 3: School of Public Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200025, China

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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