Inventory of Filamentous Fungi and Yeasts Found in the Sea Water and Sand of the Beach of Pier in Arecibo Puerto Rico

Author's: Lourdes Echevarría*
Authors' Affiliations
Biology Department, Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico 2250 Boulevard Luis A. Ferré Aguayo suite 570 Ponce, Puerto Rico 00717– 9997.
*CorrespondenceLourdes EchevarríaEmail:lourdes_echevarrí
Article Type: Research Article     Published: Mar. 08, 2022 Pages: 4-11
DOI:        Views 518       Downloads 0


In recent years, an increase in filamentous fungal and yeast infections has been observed. The water and sand of the beach were studied, for three weeks beginning in February, and culminating in march 2021. This study was conducted to determine the diversity of filamentous fungi and yeasts in the sea water and sand of the beach, to determine if they are pathogenic to human and to know the mycological quality of the sand. Samples were taken at three points equidistant from the water and the sand in sterile bags. The culture media were used: SDA, RBA, Hardy CHROM and CHROM agar. For sea water analysis, 100mL were filtered in triplicate and placed on each plate with the different culture media. For sand analysis, 1 gram was weighed in triplicate and spread on the plates with each culture medium. They were incubated for 7 to 14 days at 25°C. Colonies were counted and then isolated. Macroscopic and microscopic analysis was performed. The sea water analysis determined the presence of three genus: Aspergillus sp., Rhizopus sp. and Penicillium sp. Average yeast ranged from 21 CFU on CHROMagar and 12 CFU on HardyCHROM. The yeast species identified were Candida albicans and C. tropicalis. The average of filamentous fungi was 12 CFU in RBA and 15 CFU in SDA. The fungal species identified in the water were A. ochraceus, A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. niger, A. versicolor P. citrinum, P. chrysogenum, R. oligosporus and R. stolonifer. Two genus were identified in the sand: Aspergillus sp. and Penicillium sp. The genus Aspergillus was the one with the highest identification. Yeast average was: 19 CFU on CHROM agar, 20 CFU on Hardy CHROM. The two yeasts identified were: C. albicans and C. tropicalis. The average of filamentous fungi in each culture medium was 30 CFU in RBA and 38 CFU in SDA. The filamentous fungi species identified in the sand were A. terreus, A. versicolor, A. niger, A. flavus, A. oryzae, A. fumigatus, P. monoverticillate and A. aculeatus. The quality of the sand was classified as average. There is a connection between filamentous fungi and yeasts identified in sea water and sand with clinical samples. Most of the fungi identified are human pathogens causing infections in different parts of your body.



Filamentous fungi,


Sea water.

Authors’ Contribution

LE designed; wrote and revised the paper.

How to cite

Echevarría, L., 2022. Inventory of Filamentous Fungi and Yeasts Found in the Sea Water and Sand of the Beach of Pier in Arecibo Puerto Rico. PSM Microbiol., 7(1): 4-11.


Abril, M.J., Guisantes, J.A., Rubio, M.F., 1991. Estudio de los dermatofitos y otros hongos queratinófilicos de los suelos de Navarra. Rev. Iberoamericana de Micología.8: 79-88.

Berger, S., 2015. Infectious diseases of Puerto Rico. Gideon E- book series. ISBN: 978-1-4988-0599-5.

Brandão, J., Rosado, C., Silva, C., Almeida, C., Carrola, C., et al., 2007. Monitorizacão da qualidade das areias em zonas balneares. Lisboa: Instituto Nacional de Sáude Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA).

         ISBN: 978-972-8643-26-3

Brandão, J.   et   al., 2011.   Monitorização   da qualidade     das     areias     em     zonas balneares –Época Balnear de 2010.

Chowdhary, A., Sharma, X., Meis, J.F., 2017. Candida auris: a rapidly emerging cause of hospital- acquiered multidrug resistant fungal infections globally. PLoS Pathog.,13. 18;13(5): e1006290. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006290.

De Araújo, Pinto, I.M., de A.P.M., Cavillcánti, M. A., de Oliveira Passavante, J.Z. de O.P.Z., 1992. Hongos filamentosos aislados desde el suelo y el agua en la playa de Boa Viagem (Recife, Brasil). Boletín Micológico., 7(1-2):39-45.

Echevarría, L., 2017. Diversidad de hongos filamentosos en la arena de las playas: en la Costa Norte de Puerto Rico. Editorial Académica Española. 188 p.  ISBN: 978-3639-80661-8.

Echevarria, L., 2019a. Preliminary study to identify filamentous fungi in sands of three beaches of the Caribbean. PSM Microl., 4(1):1-6

Echevarria, L., 2019b. Molecular identification of filamentous fungi diversity in North Coast Beaches Sands of Puerto Rico. Int. J. Mol. Microbiol., 2(3):51-61.

Echevarría, L., Iqbal, M.N., 2021. Identification of Fungi and Yeasts from the Sands of the Pyramids of Giza, in Cairo, Egypt. PSM Biol. Res., 6(1): 13-18. 

Forbes, B.A., 2009.  Diagnóstico microbiológico. 12 ed. Editorial Médica Panamericana.

García, P., García, R., Hernández, J.M., Marin, P., Tallero, E., Mira, J., 1998. Identificación de levaduras de interés clínico en el medio de cultivo CHROMagar Candida. Rev. Iberoam Micol.,15: 131-135.

García, V., Giraudo, M.R., 2014. Habitantes micróscopicos de los Glaciares Levaduras. Desde la Patagonia difundiendo saberes. 11.(17) ISSN: 166B-8848.

Hu et al., 2017. Characterization of mechanisms underlying degradation of sclerotia of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum by Aspergillus aculeatus Asp-4 using a combined qRT-PCR and proteomic approachBMC Genomics. 18: 674.

Myung, Soo Park et al., 2020. Two Unrecoreded Species Belonging to Penicillium Section Exilicaulis in South KoreaThe Korean Mycol., 48(3): 175-185.

Lastisnere, H., Virgen, M., Martínez, J., Ochoa, L., 2006. Levaduras marinas. CONABIO. Biodiversitas 64: 7-9.

Lockhart, S.R, Etienne, K.A., Vallabhaneni, S, Farooqi, J, Chowdhary, A, Govender, N.P, et al., 2017. Simultaneus emergence of multidrug- resistant Candida auris on 3 continents confirmed by whole- genome sequencing and epidemiological analyses. Clini. Infect. Dst., 15;64(2):134-140. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciw691.

Mahreen, A., 2010. Epidemiology of superficial infections. Clinical in Dermatology. Elsevier. 28(2): 197-201.

Mendes, B., Urbano, P., Alves, C., Lapa, N., Morais, J., Nascimento, J., Oliveira, J.F.S., 1997. Sanitary quality of sands from beaches of Azores islands. Water Sci. Technol., 35(11): 147-150.

Mendoza, M., 2005. Importancia de la identificación de levaduras. Rev. Soc. Ven. Microbiol., 25(1). ISSN 1315-2556.

Mitchell, N.J, Marroquín,-Cardona, A.G., Romoser, A., Phillips, T.D., Hayes, A.W., 2014. Mycotoxins, Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. Elsevier. ISBN 9780128012383.

Nestor, I., Costin, L., Sovrea, D., Ionescu, N., 1984. Detection of enteroviruses in sea water and beach sand. Zentr. Bakter. Mikr. Hyg ABT 1. 178(6): 527-534.

Papadakis, J.A., Mavridou, A., Richardson, S.C., Lampiri, M., Marcelou, U., 1997. Bather- related microbial and yeast populations in sands and seawater. Wat. Res., 31(4): 799-804.

Pereira, E.   et   al.,   2013.   Microbiological   and mycological   beach   sand   quality   in   a volcanic environment: Madeira archipelago, Portugal. Sci. Total, Environ., 461: 469-479.

          DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.025

Rajendran, V., Mohammad, S.A., Wael, A., Suliman, A.A., Tim, S., 2017. A study of airborne fungal allergens in sandstorm dust in Al-Zulfi, central region of Saudi Arabi. J. Environ. Occup. Sci., 6(1): 27-33.

Reza, K.A, Shokri H, Minooeianhaghighi, M., 2011. Foodborne Pathog. Dis., 8: 12. P 1275-1280.

Sabino, R., Rodríguez, R., Costa, I., et al., 2014. Routine screening of harmful microorganisms in beach sands: implications to public health. Sc. Total Environ., 15;472: 1062-1069.

         DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.091

Salmon, N., Fuller, C., 2013. Fungal skin infections: current approaches to management. Prescriber. 24(9): 31-37. doi: 10.1002/psb.1046.

Solo, Gabriele, H.M. et al.  2016. Beach sand and the potential for infectious disease transmission: observations and recommendations. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the U. K., 96(1): 101–120. Doi:10.1017/S0025315415000843

St-Germain, G., Summerbell, R., 2011. Identifying Fungi: A Clinical Laboratory Handbook. 2da edition. Belmont: Star Publishing Company, Inc. 365 p. ISBN-13: 978-0898631777

Whitman, R., Harwood, V.J., Edge, T.A., Nevers, M., Byappanahalli, M., et al., 2014. Microbes in beach sands: integrating environment, ecology, and public health. Rev. Environ. Sci. Biotechnol., 13(3): 329-368. doi: 10.1007/s11157-014-9340-8