Inhibition of Microbial Metabolism in Anaerobic Lagoons by Selected Sulfonamides, Tetracyclines, Lincomycin, and Tylosin Tartrate


Antibiotics are used to maintain healthy livestock and to promote weight gain in concentrated animal feed operations. Antibiotics rarely are metabolized completely by livestock and, thus, are often present in livestock waste and in waste-treatment lagoons. the introduction of antibiotics into anaerobic lagoons commonly used for swine waste treatment has the potential for negative impacts on lagoon performance, which relies on a consortium of microbes ranging from fermentative microorganisms to methanogens. to address this concern, the effects of eight common veterinary antibiotics on anaerobic activity were studied. Anaerobic microcosms, prepared from freshly collected lagoon slurries, were amended with individual antibiotics at 10 mg/L for the initial screening study and at 1, 5, and 25 mg/L for the dose-response study. Monitored metabolic indicators included hydrogen, methane, and volatile fatty acid concentrations as well as chemical oxygen demand. the selected antibiotics significantly inhibited methane production relative to unamended controls, thus indicating that antibiotics at concentrations commonly found in swine lagoons can negatively impact anaerobic metabolism. Additionally, historical antibiotic usage seems to be a potential factor in affecting methane production. Specifically, less inhibition of methane production was noted in samples taken from the lagoon with a history of multiple-antibiotic use.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Second Department

Biological Sciences

Keywords and Phrases

Anaerobic Lagoons; Anaerobic Metabolism; Methanogenesis

Library of Congress Subject Headings


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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