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Article

Factors Affecting Shellfish Quality in Terms of Faecal Contamination at Blakeney Point, East Anglia, UK

1
School of Science, RMIT University, Bundoora, Melbourne, VIC 3083, Australia
2
ARC Training Centre for the Transformation of Australia’s Biosolids Resource, RMIT University, Bundoora, Melbourne, VIC 3083, Australia
3
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michele Mistri
Water 2021, 13(22), 3192; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223192
Received: 27 October 2021 / Revised: 9 November 2021 / Accepted: 9 November 2021 / Published: 11 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems)
Relatively high E. coli and Faecal Streptococci (FS) numbers have been reported in the waters surrounding Blakeney Point, East Anglia, UK, an area containing significant shellfishery industries including mussels and cockles, despite the implementation of development works aimed at reducing residual contamination problems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of using bacterial analyses and sterol profiling to assess the current levels and source of faecal pollution at Blakeney Point. No evidence of significant human faecal contamination of water in and around Blakeney Point could be found using either traditional microbiological analyses or sterol profile analysis. The presence of significant quantities of sitosterol, however, suggests that faecal contamination of water from birds does occur but at the concentration detected would not affect water quality. Analysis of cockles and mussels taken from the area show that negligible levels of coprostanol were present, confirming that faecal pollution was not causing any contamination issues. Apart from cholesterol, brassicasterol, an algal biomarker, as expected was dominant in shellfish flesh. The results confirm that current water treatment processes are successful in ensuring water quality at Blakeney Point and that a combination of microbial testing with sterol profile analysis confirmed that low microbial concentrations of faecal contaminants present in and around Blakeney Point most probably originate from migratory and/or resident bird species. View Full-Text
Keywords: shellfish quality; E. coli; cockles; mussels; Blakeney Point; faecal sterols shellfish quality; E. coli; cockles; mussels; Blakeney Point; faecal sterols
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ball, A.S.; Shahsavari, E.; Khudur, L.S.; Aburto-Medina, A.; Smith, D.J. Factors Affecting Shellfish Quality in Terms of Faecal Contamination at Blakeney Point, East Anglia, UK. Water 2021, 13, 3192. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223192

AMA Style

Ball AS, Shahsavari E, Khudur LS, Aburto-Medina A, Smith DJ. Factors Affecting Shellfish Quality in Terms of Faecal Contamination at Blakeney Point, East Anglia, UK. Water. 2021; 13(22):3192. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223192

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ball, Andrew S., Esmaeil Shahsavari, Leadin S. Khudur, Arturo Aburto-Medina, and David J. Smith. 2021. "Factors Affecting Shellfish Quality in Terms of Faecal Contamination at Blakeney Point, East Anglia, UK" Water 13, no. 22: 3192. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223192

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