Millions of metric tons of African desert dust blow across the Atlantic Ocean each year, blanketing the Caribbean and southeastern United States. Previous work in the Caribbean has shown that atmospheric samples collected during dust events contain living microbes, including plant and opportunistic human pathogens. To better understand the potential downwind public health and ecosystem effects of the dust microbes, it is important to characterize the source population. We describe 19 genera of bacteria and 3 genera of fungi isolated from air samples collected in Mali, a known source region for dust storms, and over which large dust storms travel.
Additional publication details
Characterization of aerosolized bacteria and fungi from desert dust events in Mali, West Africa