Antibiotics (ABs) are used worldwide to treat diseases and protect the health of humans, animals, and plans alike. They arealso incorporated into animal feed to improve growth rate and feed efficiency. As antibiotics are poorly absorbed in the gut, the majority is excreted unchanged in feces and urine. Given that land applications of sewage and its subsequent leaching to aquifers isoften a common practice in many countries, there is a growing international concern about the potential impact of antibiotic residues ontheenvironment. Frequent use of antibiotics has also raised concerns about increased antibiotic resistance of microorganisms. We here give the opportunity to update information available in the literature on the use, sales, exposure pathways, environmental occurrence, fate, effects, and remediation of ABs in the aquatic environment. Only recently, more complex investigations of ABs were made to assess the environmental risks they may pose. Within the last decade an increasing number of studies covering antibiotic input, occurrence, fate and effects were published, but there is still a lack of understanding about antibiotics in the aquatic environment with respect to input sources and quantities, pathways, fate, and effects on non-target organisms.
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