In this study, metal and metalloid concentrations and pathogens were measured in shellfish at different locations in a tropical estuary, including sites impacted by sewage and industry. Oyster, mangrove snails and mud snails did not exceed Australian and New Zealand Food Standards maximum levels for copper, lead or estimated inorganic arsenic at any site although copper concentrations in oysters and mud snails exceeded generally expected levels at some locations. Bacterial community composition in shellfish was species-specific regardless of location and different to the surrounding water and sediment. In the snails Telescopium telescopium, Terebralia palustris and Nerita balteata, some bacterial taxa differed between sites, but not in Saccostrea cucullata oysters. The abundance of potential human pathogens was very low and pathogen abundance or diversity was not associated with site classification, i.e. sewage impact, industry impact and reference.