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They locate antibiotic resistant bacteria at the International Space Station



Serena-Auñón-Chancelor astronaut, working on an ISS
Photo: NASA

Scientists from NASA have just found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in one of their supposedly cleaner objects: the International Space Station. The microorganism is not dangerous to humans, but the fact that it is resistant makes the finding worrying.

Bacteria are a virus Enterobacter and appeared in the toilet at the station. NASA conducts periodic genetic tests of a bacterial population that co-exists with astronauts in the orbital laboratory. There is no place where there are human beings completely released from the bacteria that accompany them, but the ISS is a particularly unpleasant place for microorganisms. Microgravity, excess carbon dioxide in the air and the highest levels of radiation are not exactly the usual environment for the bacteria.

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The type of Enterobacter found at the station is genetically very similar to three variants found in hospitals that caused health problems in patients with compromised immune systems. The microorganism was found in 2015 and in all these years it did not cause any problems for astronauts, because the station's hygienic measures are extreme, and astronauts who climb into an orbit always enjoy good health.

However, there is still room for concern. Researchers who wrote a study on newly discovered bacteria warn that the body has a 79% chance of mutating into a variant capable of infecting humans if there are real circumstances. The organism is completely resistant to five general antibiotics such as penicillin, cefazolin or oxycinol and has resistance to others.[[[[BMC microbiology through Science Alert]


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