Single and combined effects of antibiotics and nanoplastics from surgical masks and plastic bottles on pathogens

Hasan Saygin, Asli Baysal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last decade, pollution of plastics and antibiotics has increased in its threat to the environment and human health. However, very limited information is available concerning impact of co-presence of plastics and antibiotics on environment and human health. Moreover, the potential ingestion and inhalation of nano(micro)plastics due to the disposable materials has dramatically increased. With the outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 in the world, disposable surgical masks and plastic bottles have been widely used by the public, and their rapid use and improper dispensing can cause to increase plastic pollution risk on human. However, impacts of co-presence of nano(micro)plastics and antibiotics on pathogens have yet been demonstrated. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the impact the individual and combined influences of nano-sized plastics (surgical mask and plastic bottles) and antibiotics (amoxicillin and spiramycin) towards the main susceptible bacterium (Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) by microbial activity, biofilm formation and their biochemical characteristics. The results showed that antimicrobial efficiencies of the tested antibiotics were reduced (approximately 10–98%) with the plastics. Moreover, the biochemical pathways of the microbial activity changed by the plastics entrance. Polymer structure and sorption play the role on the reduction in the inhibition of pathogens. In the meantime, the biofilm formation changed and characteristic of the extracellular polymeric substance with the co-presence of plastics and antibiotics mostly depended on the polymer structure, exposure time and sorption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109340
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Antibacterial activity
  • Antibiotic
  • Biofilm
  • Disposable face mask
  • Plastic bottles
  • Plastic pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Single and combined effects of antibiotics and nanoplastics from surgical masks and plastic bottles on pathogens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this