Occurrence and persistence of antibiotics administered to cattle in a newly established feedlot

Brittany Trejo, Matthew Russell, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Nasrin Naderi Beni, Daniel D. Snow, Tiffany L. Messer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The practice of using therapeutic and prophylactic veterinary antibiotics in livestock farming is a worldwide phenomenon. Over the last decade, there has been a growing concern of antibiotic residues entering the environment via animal manure. Similar studies have focused on the occurrence and biological effects of antibiotics in land-applied animal feedlots; however, limited research has been conducted on the occurrence and persistence of antibiotics in animal feedlots. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate antibiotic persistence, fate, and transport in surface water runoff and feedlot sediment in feedlot pens with livestock either receiving or not receiving antibiotic treatments through injection and feed. The two antibiotics (tylosin and monensin) added to animal feed were observed to persist in the soil environment for more than 30 days along with injected florfenicol. Monensin (5.6× higher) and tylosin (20× higher) were significantly higher in livestock pens receiving antibiotics compared to livestock pens not receiving the antibiotics. Further, rainfall was observed to significantly impact soil surface concentrations of florfenicol. Other antibiotics administrated by injection were not observed to statistically increase in concentrations in runoff or feedlot sediment. Our findings emphasize antibiotics administered in feedlots have the potential to persist and remain in feedlot sediment and runoff, particularly in instances of regular administration in feed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1205
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Environmental Quality © 2023 American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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