Researchers from the India-Madras Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have studied the interactions between microorganisms in the International Space Station (ISS), the institute said today. Friday.
An important finding is that a bacterium resides on ISSIt is thought to be beneficial to many other microorganisms but inhibits fungal growth.
The research will help devise strategies for disinfecting space stations to minimize any potential impact of microbes on astronauts’ health.
“The crew, during space flight, may suffer from altered immunity and limited access to medical facilities on land. Therefore, the study of microorganisms living in the space station is important. becomes important to understanding the risks associated with short- and long-term space travel to the health of astronauts,” IIT-Madras said in a press release.
Researchers from @iitmadras and @NASA studied the interactions between microorganisms in the International Space Station (ISS) that will help inform sterilization strategies for space stations to minimize any potential impact of microorganisms on human health. health of the astronauts. pic.twitter.com/nkA1yfE8Ec
– IIT Madras (@iitmadras) October 21, 2022
The present study was inspired by earlier observations of Klebsiella pneumoniae bacterial dominance on the surface of the ISS.
This pathogen has been known to cause pneumonia and other nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections. The researchers are very interested in understanding how this bacterium affects the growth of other bacteria in the vicinity and the possible effects it may have.
The researchers analyzed microbial sample data taken from three spaceflights at seven locations on the ISS. Research shows that Klebsiella pneumoniae, a major bacterium that resides on the ISS, is beneficial to many other bacteria also present on the ISS, especially bacteria from the genus Pantoea.
However, it was found that its presence hindered the growth of the fungus Aspergillus. This calculated observation was further tested through laboratory experiments, and it was found that the presence of K. pneumoniae was indeed detrimental to the growth of the fungus Aspergillus.
Dr. Karthik Raman, associate professor at Bhupat & Jyoti Mehta School of Biological Sciences and core member of Robert Bosch Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBCDSAI), IIT Madras, collaborated with Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran, senior research scientist at JPL. The work has been peer reviewed and published in the international journal Microbiome.