Twenty-one bacteria were isolated and characterized from air samples collected in Africa and the Caribbean by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Isolates were selected based on preliminary characterization as possible pathogens. Identification of the bacterial isolates was achieved using 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) profiling, the BIOLOG Microlog® System (carbon substrate assay), and repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP)-PCR analysis. The majority of isolates (18/21) were identified as species of the genus Bacillus. Three isolates were classified within the Bacillus cereus senso lato group, which includes Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus thuringiensis, and Bacillus cereus strains. One isolate was identified as a Staphylococcus sp., most closely related to species (i.e., Staphylococcus kloosii, Staphylococcus warneri) that are commonly associated with human or animal skin, but can also act as opportunistic pathogen. Another isolate was tentatively identified as Tsukamurella inchonensis, a known respiratory pathogen, and was resistant to the ten antibiotics tested including vancomycin.
Wilson, Christina A.; Brigmon, Robin L.; Yeager, Chris; Smith, Garriet W.; and Polson, Shawn W.
"Genotypic and Phenotypic Characterization of Aerosolized Bacteria Collected From African Dust Events,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 12:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol12/iss1/5