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Development and Validation of a UPLC-MS/MS Method to Monitor Cephapirin Excretion in Dairy Cows following Intramammary Infusion
Knowlton, Katharine F.
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Cephapirin, a cephalosporin antibiotic, is used by the majority of dairy farms in the US. Fecal and urinary excretion of cephapirin could introduce this compound into the environment when manure is land applied as fertilizer, and may cause development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics critical for human health. The environmental loading of cephapirin by the livestock industry remains un-assessed, largely due to a lack of appropriate analytical methods. Therefore, this study aimed to develop and validate a cephapirin quantification method to capture the temporal pattern of cephapirin excretion in dairy cows following intramammary infusion. The method includes an extraction with phosphate buffer and methanol, solid-phase extraction (SPE) clean-up, and quantification using ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS). The LOQ values of the developed method were 4.02 µg kg−1 and 0.96 µg L−1 for feces and urine, respectively. This robust method recovered >60% and >80% cephapirin from spiked blank fecal and urine samples, respectively, with acceptable intra- and inter-day variation (<10%). Using this method, we detected trace amounts (µg kg−1) of cephapirin in dairy cow feces, and cephapirin in urine was detected at very high concentrations (133 to 480 µg L−1). Cephapirin was primarily excreted via urine and its urinary excretion was influenced by day (P = 0.03). Peak excretion (2.69 mg) was on day 1 following intramammary infusion and decreased sharply thereafter (0.19, 0.19, 0.08, and 0.17 mg on day 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively) reflecting a quadratic pattern of excretion (Quadratic: P = 0.03). The described method for quantification of cephapirin in bovine feces and urine is sensitive, accurate, and robust and allowed to monitor the pattern of cephapirin excretion in dairy cows. This data will help develop manure segregation and treatment methods to minimize the risk of antibiotic loading to the environment from dairy farms.