Aerosol Science and Engineering

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 206–215 | Cite as

Identification and Quantification of Bioaerosols in a Tropical Coastal Region: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

  • María E. HuertasEmail author
  • Rosa L. Acevedo-Barrios
  • Melanys Rodríguez
  • Julián Gaviria
  • Raúl Arana
  • Cesar Arciniegas
Original Paper


Bioaerosols are particles of living or dead biological material released into the atmosphere from the biosphere that play a vital role in ecosystem dynamics, and they affect agriculture, climate and human health. Scientific data about concentrations and identification of fungal spores, airborne bacteria, pollen and other primary biological particles are insufficient, especially in coastal regions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify and quantify fungi and bacteria concentrations on one beach of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Over a period of 4 months, 300 fungi and bacteria samples were collected using a cascade impactor. The results show that the fungal concentration was 176 ± 44 CFU/m3, and Aspergillus sp. was the most common fungus in the air. In comparison, the bacterial concentration was 146 ± 38 CFU/m3, with a higher presence of Staphylococcus aureus. It was found that some bioaerosols were pathogenic, and others had bioremediation potential. In addition, this study addresses the relevance of meteorological factors in controlling the fungi and bacteria concentrations finding a significant linear correlation between wind speed and bioaerosol concentrations, explained by a strong land–sea breeze circulation in tropical areas.


Fungi Bacteria Biological aerosols Beach Tropic 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tecnológico de Monterrey, Escuela de Ingeniería y CienciasMonterreyMexico
  2. 2.Universidad Tecnológica de BolívarCartagenaColombia
  3. 3.Fundación Universitaria Tecnológico de ComfenalcoCartagenaColombia

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