Microplastics as a Source of Antibiotic Resistance and Bacterial Pathogens


Robert J. Mitchell
Biological Sciences, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)


The presence and spread of microplastics is a growing threat towards humankind due to our extensive use of these recalcitrant materials. While microplastics themselves pose health problems related with their small size and chemical composition, including the absorption and transport of other harmful compounds, they also serve as a hub for pathogens and antibiotic resistant microorganisms, which they can transport far distances and introduce into the human gut when consumed. Within this talk, I will discuss the different bacterial species that are commonly associated with microplastics, their potential to harm human health and work being conducted in my lab to control both the presence of pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes.

November 3, 2022