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Five bacterial strains have been found in the International Space Station

In March 2015, researchers at NASA JPL analyzed samples taken from the toilet and training platform at ISS and identified…

In March 2015, researchers at NASA JPL analyzed samples taken from the toilet and training platform at ISS and identified five strains of the bacterium Enterobacter in the space environment. These strains were not harmful to humans, but researchers believe they could represent a key step towards protecting astronauts from bacterial diseases during long-term missions in space.

When researchers compared the ISS strains with publicly available genomes of 1,291 Enterobacter strains collected on Earth, they found that bacteria in space were closely similar to the Earth.

“To show what species of bacteria present on ISS we used different methods to characterize their genomes in detail. We revealed that the genes of the five ISS Enterobacter strains were genetically most similar to three strains recently found on These three tribes belonged to a species of bacteria called Enterobacter bugandensis, which has been shown to cause a disease in newborns and a compromised patient, who were hospitalized in three different hospitals (East Africa, Washington and Colorado). Kasthuri Venkateswaran, a researcher at Jet Propulsion Laboratory Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group, said in a statement.

Previous research has shown that bacteria behave differently in the microgravity of the international space station, although some species that are more than happy in space than here on earth. in bacteria in microgravity environments or lack of these have important implications for future space missions. [1

9659003] “In view of the multidrug-resistant results for these ISS E. bugandensisgenomes and the increased, he increased the chance of pathogenicity we have identified, these species potentially being important health concerns for future missions,” said lead author Dr. Nitin Singh. “However, it is important to understand that the strains on ISS were not virulent, which means they are not an active threat to human health, but something to be monitored.”

Researchers found that subjects of Enterobacter isolated from ISS had similar antimicrobial resistance patterns to the three strains found on the Earth. Computer analysis revealed that the bacterium has 79 percent probability of causing disease.

“Whether an opportunistic pathogen like E. bugandensis causes disease and how much a threat it is, depends on a variety of factors, including the environment,” said Dr Venkateswaran. “Further in vivo studies are needed to distinguish the impact that conditions on ISS, such as microwaves, other space and spacecraft-related factors may have on pathogenicity and virulence.”

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