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lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2015

Microbial immigration across the Mediterranean via airborne dust

Dust particles lifting and discharge from Africa to Europe is a recurring phenomenon linked to air circulation conditions. The possibility that microorganisms are conveyed across distances entails important consequences in terms of biosafety and pathogens spread. Using culture independent DNA-based analyses via next generation sequencing of the 16 S genes from the airborne metagenome, the atmospheric microbial community was characterized and the hypothesis was tested that shifts in species diversity could be recorded in relation to dust discharge. As sampling ground the island of Sardinia was chosen, being an ideal cornerstone within the Mediterranean and a crossroad of wind circulation amidst Europe and Africa. Samples were collected in two opposite coastal sites and in two different weather conditions comparing dust-conveying winds from Africa with a control situation with winds from Europe. A major conserved core microbiome was evidenced but increases in species richness and presence of specific taxa were nevertheless observed in relation to each wind regime. Taxa which can feature strains with clinical implications were also detected. The approach is reported as a recommended model monitoring procedure for early warning alerts in frameworks of biosafety against natural spread of clinical microbiota across countries as well as to prevent bacteriological warfare.

Rosselli R, et al. Microbial immigration across the Mediterranean via airborne dust. Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 6;5:16306.

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