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Sci Total Environ. 2018 Dec 15;645:393-400. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.126. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

Occurrence of antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in effluents of pharmaceutical manufacturers and other sources around Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Hanoi University of Pharmacy, 13-15 Le Thanh Tong, Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Department of Microbiology, Bach Mai Hospital, 78 Giai Phong, Hanoi, Viet Nam; Department of Microbiology, Hanoi Medical University, 01 Ton That Tung, Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Science, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Hanoi University of Pharmacy, 13-15 Le Thanh Tong, Hanoi, Viet Nam. Electronic address:


Pharmaceutical manufacturers in Vietnam are producing a wide variety of antibiotics for human and veterinary use. Consequently, the water discharged from those facilities can contain residues of antibiotics, which could have adverse impact on the environment. However, studies on the occurrence of antibiotics in the wastewater from pharmaceutical manufacturers in Vietnam are almost non-existent. In this study, water samples were collected at around the outlets of four pharmaceutical manufacturing plants as well as from a hospital and an aquaculture farm around Hanoi in 2016 and 2017. Fifteen antibiotics from four major classes (β-lactam, quinolones, macrolides, sulfonamides) were monitored, using a validated LC-MS/MS method, based on their number of registrations at the Ministry of Health. Ten antibiotics, ampicillin, cefuroxime, cefotaxime, clarithromycin, azithromycin, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, ofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin were detected in the samples at different concentrations. Notably, sulfonamides and quinolones were occasionally detected at very high concentration, such as sulfamethoxazole (252 μg/L), trimethoprim (107 μg/L), ofloxacin (85 μg/L), and ciprofloxacin (41 μg/L). In this study, concentrations of antibiotic residues in effluent of pharmaceutical plants were higher than those from other sources. The antibiotic-resistance tests indicated the widespread resistance to common antibiotics like quinolone and sulfonamides in the collected samples. This finding suggests that wastewater from pharmaceutical manufacturers could be an important source of antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the aquatic environment of Vietnam.


Antibiotic residues; Antibiotic resistance; Aquatic environment; Fishery industry; Hospital wastewater; Pharmaceutical manufacturing wastewater

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