Air samples collected on St. John in the U.S.Virgin Islands were screened for the presenceof viable bacteria and fungi to determine ifthe number of cultivatable microbes in theatmosphere differed between ``clear atmosphericconditions'' and ``African dust-events.'' Resultsindicate that during ``African dust-events,'' thenumbers of cultivatable airborne microorganismscan be 2 to 3 times that found during ``clearatmospheric conditions.'' Direct microbialcounts of air samples using an epifluorescentmicroscopy assay demonstrated that during an``African dust-event,'' bacteria-like andvirus-like particle counts were approximatelyone log greater than during ``clear atmosphericconditions.'' Bacteria-like particles exhibitingautofluoresence, a trait of phototrophs, wereonly detected during an ``African dust-event.''
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Griffin, D.W., Garrison, V.H., Herman, J.R. et al. African desert dust in the Caribbean atmosphere: Microbiology and public health. Aerobiologia 17, 203–213 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011868218901
- African Dust
- ecosystem health
- public health