ST. PETERSBURG, November 9. /TASS/. Biologists of the St. Petersburg State University found that human economic activities in the Arctic and Antarctica increase numbers of conditionally pathogenic bacteria and make them more resistant to stress, the University’s press service said on Thursday.
"Active economic activities in the areas of polar stations pollute the polar regions, thus changing the sanitary-microbiological situations in areas of settlements, and pollutants are accumulated in soils and waters," the press service said. "These factors boost growth of pathogenic microorganisms, which are highly sensitive to external influences."
The University’s scientists studied water, air and soil on the Spitzbergen Archipelago and at the Barentsburg settlement to find that the number of certain microorganisms depends directly on the presence of people there, the press service continued. Thus, the number of microbes and their diversity in the open air both in the Arctic and Antarctica is much lower than indoors. At the same time, in living and working areas on polar stations tend to grow mainly conditionally pathogenic micromycetes (fungi and fungoid organisms). The scientists believe that most micromycetes get into Antarctica together with people.