, Volume 19, Issue 3–4, pp 143–157 | Cite as

Atmospheric microbiology in the northern Caribbean during African dust events

  • Dale W. Griffin
  • Christina A. Kellogg
  • Virginia H. Garrison
  • John T. Lisle
  • Timothy C. Borden
  • Eugene A. Shinn


Between July 2000 and August 2001 forty-threeair samples were collected in the northernCaribbean: Twenty-six in the US VirginIslands, and 17 samples aboard ship during two1-week cruises. Samples were collected duringAfrican dust events and non-dust conditions andscreened for the presence of culturablebacteria and fungi. A total of 3,652 liters ofair were collected during non-dust conditions,with 19 bacteria and 28 fungi being recovered.During dust conditions a total of 2,369 litersof air were screened resulting in the recoveryof 171 bacteria and 76 fungi. A statisticallysignificant difference was found between thetwo data sets. These results support previousAfrican dust research and further demonstratethat dust particles can serve as a vessel forthe global dispersion of bacteria and fungi.Dustborne microorganisms may play a significantrole in the ecology and health of downwindecosystems.

aerobiology African dust bacteria Caribbean ecosystem health fungi microbiology public health 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale W. Griffin
    • 1
  • Christina A. Kellogg
    • 1
  • Virginia H. Garrison
    • 1
  • John T. Lisle
    • 1
  • Timothy C. Borden
    • 2
  • Eugene A. Shinn
    • 1
  1. 1.US Geological SurveyCenter for Coastal and Watershed StudiesSt. PetersburgUSA
  2. 2.US Geological SurveyVolunteer, Center for Coastal and Watershed StudiesSt. PetersburgUSA

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