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Appears in Collections:University of Stirling Research Data
Title: Dataset: Sewage-associated plastic waste washed up on beaches can act as a reservoir for faecal bacteria, potential human pathogens, and genes for antimicrobial resistance
Creator(s): Metcalf, Rebecca
White, Hannah
Moresco, Vanessa
Ormsby, Michael
Contact Email:
Date Available: 13-May-2022
Citation: Metcalf, R; White, H; Moresco, V; Ormsby, M (2022): Dataset: Sewage-associated plastic waste washed up on beaches can act as a reservoir for faecal bacteria, potential human pathogens, and genes for antimicrobial resistance. University of Stirling. Faculty of Natural Sciences. Dataset.
Publisher: University of Stirling, Faculty of Natural Sciences
Dataset Description (Abstract): Sewage-associated plastic wastes, such as wet wipes and cotton bud sticks, commonly wash up on beaches; however, it is unclear whether this represents a public health risk. In this study, sewage-associated plastic waste, and naturally occurring substrates (seaweed and sand), were collected from ten beaches along the Firth of Forth estuary (Scotland, UK) and analysed using selective media for the faecal indicator organisms (FIOs) E. coli and intestinal enterococci (IE), and potential human pathogens (Vibrio spp.). Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) analysis was used to determine antibiotic resistance in selected strains. FIOs and Vibrio were more often associated with wet wipes and cotton bud sticks than with seaweed, and there was evidence of resistance to several antibiotics. This work demonstrates that plastics associated with sewage pollution can facilitate the survival and dissemination of FIOs and Vibrio and thus, could present an as yet unquantified potential risk to human health at the beach.
Dataset Description (TOC): Sewage_Forth_Pathogens_RawData.xlsx - • This dataset contains the raw data collected during this study. It includes quantity and weight measurements of the sand, seaweed and sewage-associated plastic waste samples collected at the different sites. Samples were analysed using selective media for Vibrio spp., E. coli and intestinal enterococci. CFU counts for the water and sand samples, as well as presence and absence data for the plastic samples are included. There is also data on the minimum inhibitory concentration to five selected antibiotics for the different samples.
Type: dataset
Contract/Grant Title: Microbial hitch-hikers of marine plastics: the survival, persistence & ecology of microbial communities in the ‘Plastisphere’
Sustainable Plastic Attitudes to benefit Communities and their Environment: SNREC-GCRF SPACES project
Funder(s): NERC - Natural Environment Research Council
Contract/Grant Number: NE/S005196/1
Worktribe Project ID: 429868
Rights: Rights covered by the standard CC-BY 4.0 licence:
Affiliation(s) of Dataset Creator(s): University of Stirling (Biological and Environmental Sciences)

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