Thursday, April 22, 2021
Home Lead Story NASA is Concerned Over The Strains of Toilet Microbes on ISS

NASA is Concerned Over The Strains of Toilet Microbes on ISS

Using computer analyses, they predicted a 79 per cent probability that they may potentially cause disease

NASA is concerned over the strains of the bacterium Enterobacter, identified on the toilets of the International Space Station’s (ISS), which can raise potential health implications for future missions, say Indian-origin scientists at the US space agency.

Five strains of ‘Enterobacter’ bacterium isolated from the space toilet and the exercise platform on the ISS in March 2015 were investigated in a study led by a team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech), US.

Genome sequencing of the samples revealed that all five strains belonged to a single species, Enterobacter bugandensis (E.bugandensis).

While these were not pathogenic to humans, E.bugandensis was linked to disease in neonates and a compromised patient, who were admitted to three different hospitals (in east Africa, Washington state and Colorado), the researchers said.

“Given the multi-drug resistance results for these ISS E.bugandensis genomes and the increased chance of pathogenicity we have identified, these species potentially pose important health considerations for future missions,” said lead author Nitin Singh from NASA-JPL Caltech.

“However, it is important to understand that the strains found on the ISS were not virulent, which means they are not an active threat to human health, but something to be monitored,” he added.

NASA, tissue
Genome sequencing of the samples revealed that all five strains belonged to a single species, Enterobacter bugandensis (E.bugandensis). Flcikr

For the study, published in the journal BMC Microbiology, the team compared the ISS strains to all publicly available genomes of 1,291 Enterobacter strains collected on Earth.

They found that the ISS isolates had similar antimicrobial resistance patterns to the three clinical strains found on Earth and that they included 112 genes involved in virulence, disease and defence.

Using computer analyses, they predicted a 79 per cent probability that they may potentially cause disease.

Also Read- ASUS Brings its TUF Gaming Laptops in India

“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,” said Kasthuri Venkateswaran, Senior Research Scientist at the JPL.

“Further in vivo studies are needed to discern the impact that conditions on the ISS, such as microgravity, other space, and spacecraft-related factors, may have on pathogenicity and virulence,” he noted. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,507FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

All In The Mind: The State Of Mental Health In Corporate India

A study highlighting the role of the workplace in causing, furthering, and perpetuating mental illness, launched by Gi Group India, a leading human capital...

Instagram’s New Feature To Protect People From Abusive DMs

Facebook-owned Instagram on Wednesday announced a new feature to protect people from seeing abusive direct messages (DMs), as well as the ability to prevent...

Spiritual Power To Guard: Devotees Of Lord Ram Spread Message Of Covid19 Norms

In the wake of Bengaluru witnessing an unprecedented surge in Covid cases since the last month, devotees of Lord Ram wore costumes of Ram,...

Know What Lies Behind Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan’s Challenge To The State?

Pakistan's government has been put under a severe challenge and test by an Islamist party, which has wreaked havoc in the country this week...

Religious Hardliners Bring Pakistan Govt To A Standstill

The current ruling government of Pakistan, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, may have come with a vision of progress and open-mindedness to create...

Football And Its Evolution

By- Khushi Bisht Football, also known as soccer, has a long and illustrious history. According to a global study conducted by FIFA, over 250 million...

Nikola Tesla: A Man Ahead Of His Time

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY When discussing the greatest inventors of all time, Nikola Tesla is sometimes overlooked in history lessons at school. We often hear names...

The Best Documentaries You Can Watch On The Internet Today

By Nauman Abrar As children, most of us disliked documentaries because they were long, boring, very close to reality, and based on the truth. That...

Recent Comments