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Infectious bacteria aboard the International Space Station

Just five Enterobacter bugandensis strains were isolated, found in the space toilet and on the exercise platform. This was part of an exercise to characterize bacterial communities that live on surfaces inside the space station. The study showed that the ISS Enterobacter has an increased chance of pathogenicity for humans.

Enterobacter bugandensis exists as a nosocomial (hospital) pathogen, and it can cause life-threatening infections in newborns and immunocompromised patients. In particular, it is associated with neonatal sepsis. WITH Enterobacter In general, urinary and respiratory tracts are the most common foci of infection.

Low-temperature electron micrograph of the cluster of E. coli bacteria increased 10,000 times.

Low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E.coli bacteria, magnified 10,000 times.


What is also of concern, as BioExpert reports, is that the species identified potentially represent important health considerations for future missions. This remains potential because it is unknown what effect microgravity has on pathogenicity. such bacteria. As for origin, it is not surprising that the genomes of the five ISS Enterobacter The strains were genetically similar to the three strains found on Earth.

However, according to the Daily Mail, Dr. Nitin Singh, lead author of the report, said: “Given the results of resistance to several drugs for these [bacteria] and the increased likelihood of pathogenicity that we have identified, these types potentially represent important health considerations for future missions. ”

With regard to potential pathogenicity for humans, the PathogenFinder algorithm showed that these organisms that cause infection have a more than 79 percent chance of being released into the bloodstream. PathogenFinder is a web server for predicting bacterial pathogenicity by analyzing an input proteome (the entire set of proteins that can be expressed by the body at a specific time), genome, or raw readings provided by the user.

The new discovery, which emphasizes how people can pollute any place they visit, was published in the journal BMC Microbiology, called "Multidrug resistance Enterobacter bugandensis species isolated from the International Space Station and comparative genomic analyzes with pathogenic human strains. ”

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