The area cultivated with Artemisia annua for the extraction of the antimalarial compound artemisinin is increasing, but the environmental impact of this cultivation has not yet been studied. A sensitive and robust method using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed for the determination of artemisinin in soil. Dihydroartemisinin and artemether were included in the method, and performance on analytical columns of both traditional C 18 phenyl-hexyl and porous shell particles-based Kinetex types was characterized. The versatility of the method was demonstrated on surface water and groundwater samples and plant extracts. The limit of detection was 55, 30 (25 ng/g soil), and 4 ng/mL for dihydroartemisinin, artemisinin, and artemether, respectively. Method performance was demonstrated using naturally contaminated soil samples from A. annua fields in Kenya. The highest observed concentrations were above EC 10 for lettuce growth. Monitoring of artemisinin in soil with A. annua crop production seems necessary to further understand the impact in the environment.
- African soils
- Artemisia annua
- natural contaminants
- Plasmodium falciparum
- Programme Area 2: Water Resources