Team:TUST China/Description





Tetracyclines are a class of antibiotics produced by Actinomycetes with broad spectrum and high efficiency. In 1948, Dr Benjamin Minge Duggar extracted the first tetracycline antibiotic—chlortetracycline from streptomycin. In the following several years, Oxytetracycline and tetracycline were also isolated from the fermentation broth of Streptomyces. These antibiotics belong to tetracycline antibiotics, and all of them have similar antibacterial spectrum. Because of its broad spectrum, high quality and low cost, tetracyclines have been widely used in livestock and poultry industry with the largest production and clinical usage. Low doses of tetracyclines can be used as growth promoters in livestock and poultry, while high doses can treat diseases. [1]

With increasingly realizing the importance of Tetracyclines in agricultural production and disease treatment., people are gradually aware of the existence of antibiotic abuse. The survey showed that the total amount of tetracyclines used for therapeutic purposes in the European Union in 1997 was about 2,294 tons, while the consumption of tetracyclines in the United States increased from 3,000 tons to 3,200 tons in 2000-2001. The adverse impacts of antibiotic abuse on the ecological environment and public health are becoming obvious and acute, making antibiotic pollution become a hot environmental issue of universal concern. [2]

In the process of antibiotic abuse, antibiotics enter our ecological environment through a variety of ways, they can be transported to surface water and leached to groundwater. In Canada, the residual concentration of tetracycline in groundwater was 400 ng/L, while that in surface water was 32 ng/L. In the United States, the average concentrations of tetracycline, oxytetracycline and aureomycin in surface water were 0.11, 1.34 and 0.15 ug/L, respectively. [3] Residues of these antibiotics can induce the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, it will do great harm to the ecological balance through the food chains, and eventually flow to humans, posing a fatal threat to human health. [2]

Although the problem of tetracycline abuse in medical treatment has been greatly eased in the 21st century, tetracyclines are still active in livestock farming area because of its low cost. In the initial brainstorm process, tetracyclines was gradually being interested since some of our team members are exactly puzzled by tetracycline teeth, then we learned about the context of this antibiotic and discussed related issues about it. We thought it was feasible and accessible for us, so it appeared in our final preliminary project list.

Finally, our team members made a consensus, this year, we will focus on tetracycline detection and degradation, which is designed to sensitively detect tetracycline in contaminated samples and then degradatte it with a high efficiency.


1. Chopra, I.; Roberts, M. (1 June 2001). "Tetracycline Antibiotics: Mode of Action, Applications, Molecular Biology, and Epidemiology of Bacterial Resistance". Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. 65 (2): 232–260. doi:10.1128/MMBR.65.2.232-260.2001

2. Hofrichter,M.(16 April 2002).”Review: lignin conversion by manganese peroxidase (MnP)”. Enzyme and Microbial Technology. Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 454-466

3. Waterhouse, A., Bertoni, M., Bienert, S., Studer, G., Tauriello, G., Gumienny, R., Heer, F.T., de Beer, T.A.P., Rempfer, C., Bordoli, L., Lepore, R., Schwede, T. SWISS-MODEL: homology modelling of protein structures and complexes. Nucleic Acids Res. 46(W1), W296-W303 (2018).