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Ferreira V.R.A.,University of Porto | Amorim C.L.,Catholic University of Portugal | Cravo S.M.,University of Porto | Tiritan M.E.,University of Porto | And 3 more authors.
International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation | Year: 2016

Fluoroquinolones (FQs) have been reported in trace amounts in different environmental matrices. The biosorption of three most prescribed FQs, ofloxacin (OFL), norfloxacin (NOR) and ciprofloxacin (CPF) by activated sludge (AS) and aerobic granular sludge (AGS) was investigated. Biosorption assays were conducted with FQs concentrations within the range of 100-700 ng mL-1, to mimic environmental conditions. At neutral pH and at the end of 48 h, AS showed higher biosorption capacity than AGS. For AS, a maximum biosorption of 1.50 ± 0.03, 3.24 ± 0.05 and 3.39 ± 0.06 mg gTSS -1 was observed for OFL, NOR and CPF respectively, whereas for AGS the maximum amount of FQs biosorbed was 1.18 ± 0.03, 2.73 ± 0.02 and 2.94 ± 0.03 mg gTSS -1. Langmuir isotherm was more applicable for describing FQs biosorption equilibrium by AS while for AGS, the Freundlich isotherm was more adequate. Given the AGS technology innovative character, the effect of change of pH on the biosorbed FQs was evaluated. FQs could be desorbed from AGS at pH 3, pH 8 and pH 9 but at pH 4 the biosorption process was promoted. This study allows a better understanding of the FQs biosorption processes. Moreover, the data from biosorption/desorption from AGS may be useful for management and operation of AGS bioreactors. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Silva B.,University of Porto | Fernandes C.,University of Porto | Tiritan M.E.,University of Porto | Tiritan M.E.,Institute Investigacao e Formacao Avancada em Ciencias e Tecnologias da Saude IINFACTS | And 6 more authors.
Forensic Toxicology | Year: 2016

Recently, great interest has been focused on synthetic cathinones since their consumption has increased exponentially. All synthetic cathinones exist as chiral molecules; the biological and/or toxicological properties of cathinones generally differ according to the enantiomers in human body. In this study, a chiral liquid chromatography method was developed to separate and determine the enantiomeric ratio of synthetic cathinones present in “legal highs” acquired in old smart shops or over the Internet. All the synthetic cathinones were efficiently enantio-separated with α and Rs ranging from 1.24 to 3.62 and from 1.24 to 10.52, respectively, using polysaccharide-based chiral stationary phases. All synthetic cathinones, with the exception of 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC), were present in the commercialized “legal highs” in an enantiomeric proportion of 50:50. One of the studied chiral compounds was 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), one of the most consumed cathinone derivative worldwide. Our research group has recently reported its hepatotoxicity in the racemic form. Thus, the analytical enantioresolution of the MDPV was scaled up to multi-milligram using a semi-preparative amylose tris-3,5-dimethylphenylcarbamate column (20 cm × 7.0 mm ID, 7 µm particle size). Both enantiomers were isolated with high enantiomeric purity (enantiomeric excess > 99 %). The toxicity of S-(−)-MDPV and R-(+)-MDPV was evaluated, for the first time, using primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. It was also possible to verify that MDPV enantiomers showed hepatotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner, but displayed no enantioselective toxicity in this cell culture model. © 2016 Japanese Association of Forensic Toxicology and Springer Japan Source


Carvalho M.F.,Catholic University of Portugal | Carvalho M.F.,University of Porto | Maia A.S.,Catholic University of Portugal | Maia A.S.,Institute Investigacao e Formacao Avancada em Ciencias e Tecnologias da Saude IINFACTS | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Fluoroquinolones constitute a group of emerging pollutants and their occurrence in different environmental compartments is becoming object of increasing public concern due to their ecotoxicological effects and the potential to develop resistant bacteria. This study aimed to investigate the biodegradation of moxifloxacin (MOX), for which studies in the literature are very scarce. An activated sludge (AS) consortium and three bacterial strains able to degrade fluoroaromatic compounds - strains F11, FP1 and S2 - were tested. Biodegradation studies were conducted using acetate as a bulk carbon source. Strain F11 showed the highest biodegradation capacity, being able to completely consume and dehalogenate 7.5 μM of the target antibiotic when daily co-supplemented with acetate present as a readily degradable organic substrate in wastewaters. MOX could be used by strain F11 as a sole nitrogen source but the presence of an external nitrogen source in the culture medium was essential for complete biodegradation. Strain F11 was capable of completely consuming MOX in a range between 2 and 11 μM, although stoichiometric fluoride release was not obtained for the highest tested concentration. The antibacterial activity of residual MOX and of the metabolic products potentially resultant from the biodegradation process was investigated by agar diffusion tests, demonstrating that MOX biodegradation is associated with the elimination of the antibacterial properties of the target antibiotic and of the produced metabolites, which is an important result, as the activity of antibiotics and/or their metabolites in the environment, even at low levels, may lead to the development of resistant bacterial strains. Overall, the results obtained in this study suggest that strain F11 is a promising microorganism for the treatment of waters contaminated with MOX, where it could be used for bioaugmentation/bioremediation purposes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting complete removal and dehalogenation of MOX by a single microorganism. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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