THE MEMBER MAGAZINE OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
NEWS - Disease-causing parasites can hitch a ride on plastics
“Typically when people hear about plastic pollution, they might envision seabirds with bellies full of trash or sea turtles with plastic straws in their noses. However, plastic pollution poses another threat that’s invisible to the eye and has important consequences for both human and animal health. ...
A One Health problem
One Health is an approach to research, policy and veterinary and human medicine that emphasizes the close connection of animal, human and environmental health. While it may seem that plastic pollution affects only animals in the ocean, it can ultimately have consequences on human health.
Our project was conducted by a multidisciplinary team of experts, ranging from microplastics researchers and parasitologists to shellfish biologists and epidemiologists. This study highlights the importance of collaboration across human, animal and environmental disciplines to address a challenging problem affecting our shared marine environment.
Our hope is that better understanding how microplastics can move disease-causing pathogens in new ways will encourage others to think twice before reaching for that plastic straw or polyester T-shirt.”