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Ecotoxicological impact of the antihypertensive valsartan on earthworms, extracellular enzymes and soil bacterial communities

Abstract : The use of reclaimed water in agriculture represents a promising alternative to relieve pressure on freshwater supplies, especially in arid or semiarid regions facing water scarcity. However, this implies introducing micropollutants such as pharmaceutical residues into the environment. The fate and the ecotoxicological impact of valsartan, an antihypertensive drug frequently detected in wastewater effluents, were evaluated in soil-earthworm microcosms. Valsartan dissipation in the soil was concomitant with valsartan acid formation. Although both valsartan and valsartan acid accumulated in earthworms, no effect was observed on biomarkers of exposure (acetylcholinesterase, glutathione S-transferase and carboxylesterase activities). The geometric mean index of soil enzyme activity increased in the soils containing earthworms, regardless of the presence of valsartan. Therefore, earthworms increased soil carboxylesterase, dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, beta-glucosidase, urease and protease activities. Although bacterial richness significantly decreased following valsartan exposure, this trend was enhanced in the presence of earthworms with a significant impact on both alpha and beta microbial diversity. The operational taxonomic units involved in these changes were related to four (Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Firmicutes) of the eight most abundant phyla. Their relative abundances significantly increased in the valsartan-treated soils containing earthworms, suggesting the presence of potential valsartan degraders. The ecotoxicological effect of valsartan on microbes was strongly altered in the earthworm-added soils, hence the importance of considering synergistic effects of different soil organisms in the environmental risk assessment of pharmaceutical active compounds. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Contributor : Noureddine El Mjiyad <>
Submitted on : Monday, August 2, 2021 - 10:21:17 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 3:38:38 AM

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Sara Gallego, David Nos, Nicola Montemurro, Juan Sanchez-Hernandez, Sandra Pérez, et al.. Ecotoxicological impact of the antihypertensive valsartan on earthworms, extracellular enzymes and soil bacterial communities. Environmental Pollution, Elsevier, 2021, 275, pp.116647. ⟨10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116647⟩. ⟨hal-03311939⟩



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