Environmental and structural factors associated with bacterial diversity in household dust across the Arizona-Sonora border

Lauren D. Benton, Nicolas Lopez-Galvez, Chloe Herman, J. Gregory Caporaso, Emily K. Cope, Cecilia Rosales, Mercedes Gameros, Nathan Lothrop, Fernando D. Martínez, Anne L. Wright, Tara F. Carr, Paloma I. Beamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We previously reported that asthma prevalence was higher in the United States (US) compared to Mexico (MX) (25.8% vs. 8.4%). This investigation assessed differences in microbial dust composition in relation to demographic and housing characteristics on both sides of the US–MX Border. Forty homes were recruited in the US and MX. Home visits collected floor dust and documented occupants’ demographics, asthma prevalence, housing structure, and use characteristics. US households were more likely to have inhabitants who reported asthma when compared with MX households (30% vs. 5%) and had significantly different flooring types. The percentage of households on paved roads, with flushing toilets, with piped water and with air conditioning was higher in the US, while dust load was higher in MX. Significant differences exist between countries in the microbial composition of the floor dust. Dust from Mexican homes was enriched with Alishewanella, Paracoccus, Rheinheimera genera and Intrasporangiaceae family. A predictive metagenomics analysis identified 68 significantly differentially abundant functional pathways between US and MX. This study documented multiple structural, environmental, and demographic differences between homes in the US and MX that may contribute to significantly different microbial composition of dust observed in these two countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12803
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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