In a publication on the website of the University of Porto, the ICBAS communication office states that the results were obtained under the BeachSafe project, which studies the presence of microbial agents in 10 beaches in the North: Afife, Ofir, Póvoa do Varzim, Árvore, Matosinhos, Salgueiros, Aguda, Paramos, Cortegaça and São Jacinto.

“In bathing waters in the North of Portugal, classified as excellent for bathing according to the legislation in force, bacteria of the genus vibrio were detected, some pathogenic for humans, including those resistant to antibiotics”, reads in the publication.

According to the ICBAS, climate change, namely the increase in temperature, variations in salinity and concentration of particles in the water, “seem to be responsible” for the spread of these bacteria, which represent “an unaccounted for risk to public health”, given that the official assessment is made based on faecal indicators.

"The number of infections related to bathing water worldwide, including in Europe, has been growing in recent years", says the institute of the University of Porto, adding that most of the cases are associated with "indigenous bacteria" and “Enteric viruses”.

“Most cases are associated with indigenous bacteria that find favourable conditions to spread, due to climate change, or enteric viruses, as a result of discharges of raw or poorly treated wastewater”, explains the ICBAS.

The BeachSafe project, led by researchers from the ICBAS Hydrobiology and Ecology Laboratory, is co-financed by the COMPETE2020 programme, Portugal 2020, by the European Union through the ERDF and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).