Possible adverse effects of tetracyclines on the human health and the environment

Y. Koleva, T. Dimova, G. Angelova
Abstract. Medicines have an important role in the treatment and prevention of disease in both humans and animals. But it is because of the very nature of medicines that they may also have unintended effects on animals and microorganisms in the environment. Although the side effects on human and animal health are usually investigated in thorough safety and toxicology studies, the potential environmental impacts of the manufacture and use of medicines are less well understood and have only recently become a topic of research interest. This is further complicated by the fact that some pharmaceuticals can cast effects on bacteria and animals well below the concentrations that are usually used in safety and efficacy tests. In addition, breakdown products and the combination of different biologically active compounds may have unanticipated effects on the environment. Although it may be safe to assume that these substances do not substantially harm humans, we have only recently begun to research whether and how they affect a wide range of organisms in the environment and what this means for environmental health. The aim of this work is to predict the possible adverse effects of some tetracyclines on the human health and the environment. Persistent, bioaccumulative, acute and chronic toxic were predicted for ten tetracyclines by baseline models and a software of PBT Profiler. Possible metabolic activation (observed and predicted) of some tetracyclines was applied by a software of (Q)SAR Application Toolbox. Results show that some of them are persistent, do not bioaccumalate in the food chain and are with moderate to low toxicity. The tetracyclines were metabolically activated in the liver and their protein and DNA binding was estimated. Observed metabolic pathways weren’t observed. Predicted metabolites have different mechanisms of protein and DNA binding.