Space microbes adapts to survival and do not turn into superbugs: studies


Genetic evidence suggests that, despite the seemingly difficult conditions of the bacteria at the International Space Station (ISS), they adapt to survival and do not change into dangerous, antibiotic-resistant, researchers said.

ISS has thousands of different microbes traveling to space, either on astronauts or cargo.

As many space agencies are preparing to send passengers to Mars, there is an increasing interest in understanding how these microbes will behave in confined environments.

A team from the Northwestern University in the US found that bacteria isolated from the ISS contained different genes than their relatives on Earth.

Instead of these genes, bacteria were not more harmful to human health
bacteria are simply responding and maybe evolving to survive in a stressful environment.

"There has been a lot of speculation about radiation, microgravity and lack of ventilation and how it can affect living organisms, including bacteria," said Erica Hartmann, an assistant professor at the institute.

"People will be in small capsules where they will not be able to open windows, go out or circulate the air for a longer period of time."

"These are stressful and difficult conditions. It's really worrying how this could affect microbes," said Hartmann in a study published in the mSystems magazine.

The group compared strains of Staphylococcus aureus, which contains a MRSA strain that is difficult to treat; and Bacillus cereus – which lives in the soil and has fewer consequences for human health – on the ISS to people on Earth.

"Based on the analysis of genomes, bacteria appear to be adapting to the living, without developing to cause the disease," said Ryan Blaustein, a postdoctoral student.

"We did not see anything special about the antibiotic resistance or virulence in the bacteria of the space station," Blaustein added.

Although this is good news for astronauts and potential space tourists, Hartmann and Blaustein have emphasized that unhealthy people can still spread disease to space stations and space ships.

<! –



Source link