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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2017, Article ID 9254072, 8 pages
Research Article

Simultaneous Determination of Fluoroquinolones and Sulfonamides Originating from Sewage Sludge Compost

1Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
2Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia
3Tartu College, Tallinn University of Technology, Tartu, Estonia

Correspondence should be addressed to K. Kipper; moc.liamg@reppik.nirak

Received 20 February 2017; Revised 1 May 2017; Accepted 11 May 2017; Published 12 June 2017

Academic Editor: Sandra Babic

Copyright © 2017 K. Kipper et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A simultaneous method for quantitative determination of traces of fluoroquinolones (FQs) and sulfonamides (SAs) in edible plants fertilized with sewage sludge was developed. The compounds were extracted from the plants by rapid and simple liquid extraction followed by extracts clean-up using solid phase extraction. The eluent additive 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol was used for liquid chromatographic detection to achieve separation of structurally similar antimicrobials like ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin. Identification and quantification of the compounds were performed using high-performance liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry in selected reaction monitoring mode. Method was validated and extraction recoveries of FQs and SAs ranged from 66% to 93%. The limit of quantifications was from 5 ng/g in the case of ofloxacin to 40 ng/g for norfloxacin. The method precision ranged from 1.43% to 2.61%. The developed novel method was used to evaluate the plats antimicrobial uptake (potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), carrot (Daucus carota L.), lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.), and wheat (Triticum vulgare L.)) from soil and migration of the analytes inside the plants.