Isolation of two Ochrobactrum sp. strains capable of degrading the nootropic drug—Piracetam
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Piracetam (2-oxo-1-pyrrolidine acetamide) is a popular cognitive enhancer, which has recently been detected in waste and drinking water. Nootropic drugs are designed to affect human metabolism and act on the nervous system, but their environmental effects have yet to be the subject of detailed studies. In this report, we present the efficient biodegradation of the cognitive enhancer, piracetam. Two bacterial strains capable of using this compound as the sole carbon source were isolated and later identified as Ochrobactrum anthropi strain MW6 and Ochrobactrum intermedium strain MW7. The compound's mineralization and the cleavage of the heterocyclic ring were shown in the experiments with 14C-labeled piracetam. This is also the first report of a pharmaceutical's degradation by the Ochrobactrum genus. This study presents model microorganisms that can be used in further investigation of piracetam's degradation pathways as well as enzymes and genes involved in the process.