Grant Awarded to A&M to Study Potential Effects of Bacteria in African Dust

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Add the flesh eating bacteria Vibrio to the list of threats from Africa that could cross the Atlantic Ocean. Remember those Africanized bees threatening us?

The Houston Chronicle reports that dust from the Saharan and Sahel desert that lands in the Gulf will be under more scrutiny. With climate change creating a dryer climate in those African deserts, dust storms that feed flesh-craving bacteria are expected to increase. It could lead to "more outbreaks of organisms such as Vibrio," according to the report.

Although there's been no reported connection to African dust clouds, a Texas man died recently after coming in contact with flesh eating bacteria after a trip to Lake Conroe.

That's not to say there's any proof these dust storms have been affecting our local bacteria count. But a potential problem is actually very real, so much so that Texas A&M Corpus Christi researchers were awarded a $200,000 grant to study those dust clouds and the bacteria they might be bringing along.

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