Ionophores are the most heavily applied sup-group of the two sub-groups of anticoccidial agents, which are antiparacitic compounds used extensively worldwide as prophylactic chemotherapeutics and growth promoters in livestock production. As an example, the yearly consumptions of active compounds are more than 10 tonnes in Denmark and for the Republic of Korea more than 800 tonnes (Hansen et al. 2009a, Kim et al. 2008). Ionophores are antibiotic drugs that form lipid soluble complexes with, primarily, alkali cations that inhibit or kill pathogenic parasites in livestock. Several reports have revealed that ionophores are emerging environmental contaminants in agricultural run-off waters, surface waters, sediments, and ground waters, due to their continuously increased and constant application as feed additives in modern livestock production (Dolliver et al. 2008; Hansen et al. 2009a and 2009b). Recent investigations has further reported that metabolites of certain veterinary drugs such as antibacterial agents (i.e. tetracyclines) and antiparacitics (i.e. ionophores) posses an environmental effects of similar level as their parent compounds on the soil bacterial community (Halling-Sørensen et al. 2002; Hansen et al. 2009c). The focus of the present study is on the recent advances of a new analytical method for sampling, extraction and detection of ionophores in liquid matrices. The hyphenated method consists of an integrated clean-up with solid phase extraction followed by high-performance liquid chromatography tandem in space mass spectrometry. Halling-Sørensen B, Sengelov G, Tjørnelund J (2002) Arch Environ Contam Toxicol, 42: 3, pp. 263-271 Dolliver H, Gupta S (2008) J. Environ. Qual. 37: 2 pp. 1227-1237. Hansen M, Björklund E, Krogh KA, Halling-Sørensen B (2009a) TrAC 28:5 pp521-533. Kim Y, Jung J, Kim M, Park J, Boxall ABA, and Choi K (2008) Environ. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 26:167-176 Hansen M, Krogh KA, Björklund E, Brandt A, Halling-Sørensen B (2009b) TrAC 28:5 pp534-542. Hansen M, Krogh KA, Brandt A, Christensen JH, Halling-Sørensen B (2009c) Environ Poll 157: 2 pp. 474-480.
Section of Toxicology; The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences