"The likelihood of disease increases from four percent to 89 percent when corals are in contact with plastic", researchers report in the journal Science.
Furthermore, the authors also predict that the number of plastic items entangled in coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific could increase to a staggering 15.7 billion by 2025. That figure could increase 40-percent over the next several years if something isn't done. Previous research has indicated that this may be because plastic debris can cause stress to coral by depriving it of light and oxygen, while providing a gateway for pathogens.
The link between disease and plastic may well apply to other reefs such as in the Caribbean and off Africa, and may be harming other life on the ocean floor such as sponges or kelp, Lamb said.
Plastic has a range of negative effects on coral reefs.
"So moderating disease risks in the ocean will be vital for improving both human and ecosystem health", she added. Indonesia was found to be the worst offender, with the coral in Australia suffering the least - possibly due to Australia's intense clean-up and disposal efforts.
Deputy killed outside Denver, one suspect in custody
A special PayPal account has been set up by the Colorado Police Foundation for donations to the family of Deputy Gumm. A Colorado sheriff's deputy has died after being shot in the chest while chasing a suspect, prompting a huge manhunt.
Swiss church mummy 'is Boris Johnson's ancestor'
Although the woman was laid in a 16th century coffin, there was no gravestone marking her name, making her identification hard . Experts suspected she came from a wealthy family as numerous city's richest residents were buried in churches like Barüsser.
Influenza might be spread simply by breathing, study finds
Alfred Tallia is chair of Rutgers' Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. When you get a flu shot, you're not just protecting yourself, but anyone around you who might be susceptible to it.
"It's sad how many pieces of plastic there are in the coral reefs ...if we can start targeting those big polluters of plastic, hopefully, we can start reducing the amount that is going on to these reefs.""Massive amounts of plastic are being thrown into the oceans from land", Harvell says, in countries that don't have much recycling and with dumps that are often adjacent to the ocean or waterways that run into the ocean. They found that one-third of them were contaminated with plastic - sometimes large patches of plastic garbage were visible. These reefs provide the US around $375 billion in goods and services through fisheries, tourism, and coastal protection, and when you consider that 80 percent of this debris originates on land, curbing the problem is very much in our power.
'For example, plastic items such as those commonly made of polypropylene, like bottle caps and toothbrushes, have been shown to become heavily inhabited by bacteria that are associated with a globally devastating group of coral diseases known as white syndromes, ' she said. Secondly, plastic also blocks sunlight from reaching the corals, which can also pose a long-term threat.
Further investigations are needed to determine precisely how and why plastics make coral susceptible to different diseases.
How can plastic waste cause disease?
Plastic trash can carry harmful microbes to coral reefs, which are also damaged when the plastics collide with them.
Joleah Lamb is a research fellow at Cornell University.