Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Antibiotics are introduced to livestock to encourage growth and for the treatment of diseases. These antibiotics are not completely metabolized by swine, and thus these antibiotics are excreted with their waste. This poses a potential risk to human health as these antibiotics, a potential link to antibiotic resistant bacteria, then enter the surface water, ground water, and soil. In collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, this research is concerned with analyzing the degradation of tetracyclines in swine waste from an anaerobic digester. Waste samples obtained from a digester and swine waste at the USDA lab are analyzed using a solid phase extraction method with a weak cation cartridge followed by analysis with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-MS). Particular interest is in the degradation of three tetracyclines (tetracycline, oxytetracycline, and chlorotetracycline). Analyses reveal the presence of low concentrations (ppb) of tetracycline and chlortetracycline in the digester samples; oxytetracycline was below the level of detection. The aim is to compare tetracycline concentrations over a period of time. Thus, providing the ability to investigate the correlation of tetracycline concentrations to the concentrations of antibiotic resistant genes.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Eric Conte


Analytical Chemistry | Animal Experimentation and Research