Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry performance evaluation for analysis of antibiotics in natural waters.

PMID 19148627


An ultra performance liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/MS/MS) method was developed and validated for the determination of 17 antibiotics in natural waters in one single extraction and chromatographic procedure. Gradient separation conditions were optimised for 17 compounds belonging to five different antibiotic groups: quinolones (oxolinic acid, nalidixic acid, pipemidic acid, flumequine), fluoroquinolones (enoxacin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, enrofloxacin, sarafloxacin, danofloxacin, difloxacin, lomefloxacin), sulphonamides (sulphamethoxazole, sulphamethazine), nitro-imidazole (ornidazole) and diaminopyrimidine (trimethoprim). The separation of all compounds, obtained using a 1.7 microm particle size column (100 mm x 2.1 mm), was achieved within 10 min time. Water samples were adjusted to pH 7 and extracted using Oasis hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) solid phase extraction cartridges. After elution with methanol and concentration, extracts were injected in a C18 column (Acquity UPLC BEH C18) and detected by tandem mass spectrometry. Average recovery from 100 ng L(-1) fortified samples was higher than 70% for most of the compounds, with relative standard deviations below 20%. Performances of the method (recoveries, detection limit, quantification limit and relative standard deviation) and matrix effects were studied, and results obtained showed that method was suitable for routine analysis of antibiotics in surface water. Samples analysis from Seine River (France) confirmed the interest of antibiotic contamination evaluation in that area.

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2,4-Diaminopyrimidine, 98%