Scientists have discovered a strain of bacteria found in hospitals on Earth and correlated with disorder can also be found on the International Space Station (ISS).
The study from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California revealed that five strains of this bacterium Enterobacter were found in samples obtained from a bathroom on the channel and a number of its exercise gear in March 2015.
Assessing the samples to the ISS into 1,291 genomes of Enterobacter on Earth, the group could narrow down that species were present, and those were known to cause health issues on earth. The findings have been published in BMC Microbiology.
“We demonstrated that genomes of those five ISS Enterobacter breeds were most like three breeds recently discovered on Earth,” Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran in JPL, the corresponding author on the study, stated in an announcement.
“These three strains belonged to a species of these bacteria, known as Enterobacter bugandensis, which was found to cause illness in neonates and also a compromised individual, who had been admitted to three distinct hospitals (in east Africa, Washington state and Colorado).”
By comparing the breeds on the ISS to people on Earth, the investigators wanted to learn if those about the channel revealed indications of antimicrobial immunity. And they discovered they did reveal some multi-drug immunity, which might cause some difficulties.
“[T]hese species possibly pose significant health concerns for future assignments,” Dr. Nitin Singh, the study’s lead author, said in the announcement. “But it’s necessary to see that the strains located on the ISS weren’t virulent, so they aren’t an active danger to individual health, but something to be tracked.”
While perhaps not immediately dangerous to the people on board, the investigators did notice that there was a 79 percent likelihood that they might lead to disease. Nevertheless, they noted additional studies have to find out exactly what effect the conditions on the ISS, such as being in microgravity, had on the germs.
This is not the first time we have learned about germs on the ISS. This past year, astronauts promised to have discovered bacteria residing outside the channel — though that was later demonstrated to have been probably completed with a spacecraft. And researchers are using tools on board the channel to identify germs in distance.
However, the problem of disorder is a significant one for future assignments. If individuals will traveling beyond Earth, without the possibility of visiting a physician back home, we will have to be certain that they have few odds of catching some type of disease that may set the assignment in jeopardy. Working out exactly what germs can grow on the channel is an integral part of this.