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Pathogenic microorganisms related to human visits in Altamira Cave, Spain

AutorJurado, Valme ; Laiz Trobajo, L. ; Sánchez Moral, Sergio ; Sáiz-Jiménez, Cesáreo
Fecha de publicación2014
EditorCRC Press
CitaciónThe Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage (27) 229-238 (2014)
ResumenNowadays, the rise of cave tourism makes it necessary to know about potentially pathogenic microorganisms in caves, determine their reservoirs, and inform people who are immunosuppressed, undergoing chemotherapy, or have lowered defences about the consequences of such visits. Unfortunately, information on cave microorganism is relatively unknown, and visitors remain unaware. Our data reveal that the microorganisms found in Altamira Cave could represent a potential danger to visitors because, in addition to bacteria related to the human presence (e.g. Staphylococcus epidermidis, Ochrobactrum anthropic), other opportunistic microorganisms, whose existence and possible development in humans is currently unknown, were isolated. The most-frequent diseases produced by the microorganisms identified in the cave are located in the respiratory systems and skin. Therefore it is recommended that in the case of a reopening of the cave, people should wear protective mask, gloves and clothing. All niches of the planet Earth are colonized bay microorganisms and caves are not and exception. The great adaptability of microorganisms permits to establish themselves in caves where develop different types of microbial communities. La Cueva del Tesoro harbours a great biodiversity barely explored. In the last few years two new species of Aspergillus and four species of bacteria were isolated and described. Many more bacteria and fungi as well as bizarre colonizations of cyanobacteria require further investigation. In this cave, biological diversity should be considered worthy of preservation.
Descripción6 p.-- Papers presented at the International Workshop "The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage", held 25-27 March 2014, in Seville, Spain.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1201/b17570-28
978-1-315-73997-7 (Online)
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