Carbamazepine is degraded by the bacterial strain Labrys portucalensis F11.
Vânia S. Bessa, Irina S. Moreira, Sapia Murgolo, Giuseppe Mascolo, Paula M.L. Castro
Science of The Total Environment, 2019


The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment is a topic of concern. Carbamazepine (CBZ) is a widespread antiepileptic drug and due to its physical-chemical characteristics minimal removal is achieved in conventional water treatments, and thus has been suggested as a molecular marker of wastewater contamination in surface water and groundwater. The present study reports the biotransformation of CBZ by the bacterial strain Labrys portucalensis F11. When supplied as a sole carbon source, a 95.4% biotransformation of 42.69 μM CBZ was achieved in 30 days. In co-metabolism with acetate, complete biotransformation was attained at a faster rate. Following a target approach, the detection and identification of 14 intermediary metabolites was achieved through UPLC-QTOF/MS/MS. Biotransformation of CBZ by the bacterial strain is mostly based on oxidation, loss of -CHNO group and ketone formation reactions; a biotransformation pathway with two routes is proposed. The toxicity of untreated and treated CBZ solutions was assessed using Vibrio Fischeri and Lepidium sativum acute toxicity tests and Toxi-Chromo Test. The presence of CBZ and/or its degradations products in solution resulted in moderate toxic effect on Vibrio Fischeri, whereas the other organisms were not affected. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report that proposes the metabolic degradation pathway of CBZ by a single bacterial strain..

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