The need for year-round monitoring of faecal pollution in bathing water

Calum Cheung, Patrick Naughton, JSG Dooley, Nicolae Corcionivoschi, Cathy Brooks

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health concern, which arises from natural processes sped up by the misuse and mismanagement of antibiotics which, has led to longer treatment time, increased costs and risk of death. The environment can play a major role as a source and spread of AMR, with faecal pollution coming from both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic activity. Faecal pollution poses a major risk to human health, animal health and the environment highlighting One Health initiative. Monitoring of faecal pollution within Northern Ireland falls under the EU Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) which is legislation to monitor identified bathing water sites. Monitoring occurs only during the bathing season, which is from the 1st June to 15th September. However, cold-water swimming is a popular hobby in Northern Ireland that happens all year round highlighting a potential risk. The enumeration of faecal indicator bacteria (FIB) is utilised to identify the potential risk from faecal pathogens to the public. However, FIB does not identify the source of contamination and so microbial source tracking (MST) assays are used to identify possible sources of faecal pollution by targeting specific marker genes. In this investigation, we utilised enumeration of FIB and MST to identify sources of faecal contamination within Newcastle, Co Down during both dry weather and wet weather events outside of the bathing season.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 May 2024
EventFestival of PhD research - Ulster University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 May 202410 May 2024


ConferenceFestival of PhD research
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Faecal pollution
  • Faecal indicator bacteria


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