QuEChERS Approach for the Analysis of Three Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics in Wastewater: Concentration Profiles and Ecological Risk in Two Nigerian Hospital Wastewater Treatment Plants.

Research paper by Akinranti S AS Ajibola, Oluwasegun A OA Amoniyan, Faith O FO Ekoja, Florence O FO Ajibola

Indexed on: 29 Nov '20Published on: 29 Nov '20Published in: Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology


Hospital wastewater is regarded as a primary and very important source of antibiotics in the aquatic environment. Studies on the analysis, occurrence, and ecological risk assessment of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in wastewater are still limited in Africa. A quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe extraction method was optimized and applied for determination of three fluoroquinolone antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin) in wastewater from two Nigerian hospital wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and effluent receiving water. Separation, detection, and quantification of target fluoroquinolone antibiotics were performed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Ecological risk of the three fluoroquinolone antibiotics was evaluated for three trophic levels: fish, daphnid, and algae. The method LODs were 4.1 µg L, 7.0 µg L, and 18.5 µg L for ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin, respectively. Satisfactory recoveries and precisions were achieved, in addition to the correlation coefficients of greater than 0.993. Target fluoroquinolones were quantified in influents up to 228 µg L (UCH influent) for ciprofloxacin, 561 µg L (Ijaiye influent) for norfloxacin, and 198 µg L (UCH influent) for ofloxacin. Norfloxacin had the highest concentration (386 µg L) in effluent receiving water. All three fluoroquinolones posed low risk to fish, whereas ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin presented moderate risk to daphnid and algae. To the best of our knowledge, this work presents the first data on the occurrence and risk assessment of the target fluoroquinolones in wastewater from Nigerian hospital WWTPs. The findings revealed the importance of developing local and nationwide surveys of fluoroquinolone antibiotics in the Nigerian aquatic environment.