Bacteria Likely to Soon Infect ISS Crew Found to Be Antibiotic-Resistant
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (Sputnik) Nov 27, 2018
Although the newly researched strains bear a striking similarity to ones typically found on Earth, specifically in intensive care units in hospitals, the discovery is a wake-up call given the no-gravity conditions of their habitat and the fact that these microorganisms are unresponsive to conventional antimicrobial agents.
JPL-NASA scientists have identified a highly unwelcome guest thriving on board the International Space station - strains of Enterobacter, and what's most worrying is that these bacteria are highly resistant to antibiotics, a research paper published in the journal BMC Microbiology has it.
For the time being, the strains of Enterobacter found on the ISS have luckily been found to be not pathogenic to humans, but the mere fact of them having been spotted on the station, in the unique conditions of microgravity, at least a tad of space radiation and intensely increased carbon dioxide levels, could carry worrisome implications.
Meanwhile, human bodies have long been known to be teeming with healthy and beneficial microbes, which cannot and should not be totally eradicated since they are an effective firewall against those which pose danger.
It took three years to describe and characterise the genomes of the strains collected back in 2015. The ISS bacterial strains have notably been identified to be similar to three types found recently on Earth, potentially causing disease in newly-born children and patients with a compromised immune system, according to microbiologist Kasthuri Venkateswaran.
No imminent danger with regard to the astronauts has been revealed, since no Enterobacter-related medical conditions have been registered in orbit since the samples were collected. However, the scientists asserted that there could potentially be a hazard, since they compared their antibiotic resistance to the three clinical strains from Earth and found that they are entirely unaffected by such wide-spread antibiotics as cefazolin, cefoxitin, oxacillin, penicillin and rifampin and some others. Computer modelling suggested there is 79 percent probability that they will evolve into a human pathogen, given certain conditions.
"Whether or not an opportunistic pathogen like E. bugandensis causes disease and how much of a threat it is, depends on a variety of factors, including environmental ones," Venkateswaran noted, adding that it is no less crucial to depict how various spacecraft-related conditions and factors may affect pathogenicity and virulence in the long run.
Source: Sputnik News
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.