Biodegradation of ofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin as single and mixed substrates by Labrys portucalensis F11

Catarina L. Amorim, Irina S. Moreira, Alexandra S. Maia, Maria E. Tiritan, Paula M. L. Castro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibiotics are extensively used both in human and veterinary medicine, and their accumulation in the environment is causing an increasing concern. In this study, the biodegradation of the three most worldwide used FQs, namely ofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin, by the fluoroorganic-degrading strain Labrys portucalensis F11 was assessed. Degradation occurred when the FQs were supplied individually or as mixture in the culture medium, in the presence of an easily degradable carbon source. Consumption of individual FQs was achieved at different extents depending on its initial concentration, ranging from 0.8 to 30 μM. For the lowest concentration, total uptake of each FQ was observed but stoichiometric fluoride release was not achieved. Intermediate compounds were detected and identified by LC-MS/MS with a quadrupole time of flight detector analyzer. Biotransformation of FQs by L. portucalensis mainly occurred through a cleavage of the piperazine ring and displacement of the fluorine substituent allowing the formation of intermediates with less antibacterial potency. FQ-degrading microorganisms could be useful for application in bioaugmentation processes towards more efficient removal of contaminants in wastewater treatment plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3181-3190
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Biodegradation
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Labrys portucalensis F11
  • Metabolites


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