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Pathogenic microorganisms in Altamira Cave, Spain, related to human activities

AutorJurado, Valme ; Laiz Trobajo, L. ; Sánchez Moral, Sergio ; Sáiz-Jiménez, Cesáreo
Fecha de publicación25-mar-2014
EditorCSIC - Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS)
CitaciónInternational Workshop "The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage", held 25-27 March 2014, in Seville, Spain.
ResumenWith today’s leisure tourism, the frequency of visits to many caves makes it necessary to know about possible potentially pathogenic microorganisms in caves, determine their reservoirs, and inform on the consequences of such visits for people who are immunosuppressed, undergoing chemotherapy, or have lowered defences. Unfortunately, information on this topic is not well known, and visitors remain unaware. Determining the extent of the potential danger of cave visits is of great interest ― not only scientific, but also medical and social. Our data reveal that Altamira Cave visits could represent a potential danger to visitors. In addition to the presence of bacteria related to human activities (e.g. Staphylococcus epidermidis, Ochrobactrum anthropi), other opportunist 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 system and skin, therefore it is recommended that in the case of a visit, the visitors should wear protective masks and clothings. Visits to any subterranean environment should possibly no longer be looked upon as a simple, riskless tourist activity, rather as one with potential risks for human health, particularly for the ill and elderly.
DescripciónComunicación presentada en el International Workshop "The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage", held 25-27 March 2014, in Seville, Spain.-- The workshop is organized by the Spanish Network of Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage (TechnoHeritage)
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/122615
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