Occurrence of enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin residues in broiler meat sold in Sri Lanka

N. B. Karunarathna, I. A. Perera, N. T. Nayomi, D. M.S. Munasinghe, S. S.P. Silva, I. Strashnov, B. R. Fernando

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The presence of unacceptable levels of veterinary drug residues in animal-derived food is a global concern due to its negative impacts on human health. This study reports the occurrence and levels of two fluoroquinolone antimicrobials— enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin—in broiler meat sold in Sri Lanka. A total of 129 broiler meat samples were purchased from the market, representing nine large-scale broiler meat processors (107 samples in 66 batches, branded) with an islandwide distribution and 22 small-scale processors (22 samples, unbranded). Enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin in breast muscle were extracted following a previously published method with modifications and were subjected to High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Fluorescence Detection analysis for the quantification of antimicrobials. Enrofloxacin residues were detected in 67 (51.9%) samples, out of which 28 had quantifiable levels (1.7–578.6 μg kg–1), whereas ciprofloxacin was detected in only nine samples. Only three samples (2.3%) exceeded the European Union maximum residue limit of 100 μg kg–1 for the sum of ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin in poultry muscle. These three samples had enrofloxacin in 130.3–578.6 μg kg–1 range and ciprofloxacin in 15.7– 28.8 μg kg–1 range. Mean enrofloxacin level in other samples was 5.9 ± 5.3 µg kg–1. This study shows the widespread use of enrofloxacin in broiler meat industry in the country and the possibility of meat with harmful levels of residues entering the market. Thus, we highlight the need to establish regulations and a national-level veterinary drug residue surveillance program for animal-derived foods including broiler meat to ensure consumer safety.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)479-492
    Number of pages14
    JournalNational Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


    • Broiler meat
    • ciprofloxacin
    • enrofloxacin
    • fluoroquinolone
    • HPLC
    • poultry
    • Sri Lanka


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