Residues of fluoroquinolones in marine aquaculture environment of the Pearl River Delta, South China

Xiuting He, Zhaohui Wang, Xiangping Nie*, Yufen Yang, Debo Pan, Anna Oi Wah LEUNG, Zhang Cheng, Yongtao Yang, Kaibin Li, Kunci Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Concentrations and distributions of selected fluoroquinolones (norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin) in water, sediments and nine kinds of fish species collected from 6 sites in two marine aquaculture regions of the Pearl River Delta, China, were analyzed by using high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detector (HPLC). The results showed that the concentrations of ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin were below the limits of quantification (LOQ) in all water samples except for norfloxacin. Norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin concentrations ranged from 1.88 to 11.20 ng g -1 dry wt, 0.76-2.42 ng g -1 dry wt in sediments collected from the Dapeng'ao region (sites 1-3) and ranged from 2.31 to 4.75 ng g -1 dry wt, 1.26-1.76 ng g -1 dry wt in sediments collected from the Hailing Island region (sites 4-6), respectively. However, no enrofloxacin was found in all sediment samples. The three fluoroquinolones (FQs) were detected in all fish samples, and the concentrations were higher in liver tissues than those in muscle tissues. The levels of norfloxacin were higher than ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin in both liver and muscle tissues. Among the nine marine fish species, Siganus fuscescens from Hailing Island had a significantly high level of norfloxacin in liver tissue (254.58 ng g -1 wet wt), followed by Sparus macrocephalus (133.15 ng g -1 wet wt) from Dapeng'ao, and the lowest value was Lutianus argentimaculatus (5.18 ng g -1 wet wt) from Hailing Island. The obtained results of FQs in present study do not represent a risk to the human health in Guangdong coastal area, based on the maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by Chinese Government and the acceptable daily intake (ADI) recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization (FAO/WHO).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Fluoroquinolones (FQs)
  • Marine aquaculture
  • Pearl River Delta
  • Residue
  • Risk assessment


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