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They place antibiotic-resistant bacteria on board the International Space Station

Astronaut Serena-Auñón-Chancelor, working on the ISS
Photo: NASA

NASA scientists have just found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in one of their supposedly cleaner facilities: the International Space Station. The microorganism is not dangerous for people, but the fact that it is immune makes it finding disturbing.

The bacterium is a strain Enterobacter and he appeared in the toilet of the station. NASA performs periodic genetic tests of bacterial populations that coexist with astronauts in a laboratory orbiting the Earth. No place where humans are is completely free of the bacteria that accompany them, but ISS is an extremely inhospitable place for microorganisms. Microgravity, excess carbon dioxide in the air and the highest levels of radiation are not a typical environment for bacteria.

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The Enterobacter strain found on the station is genetically very similar to the three variants found in hospitals that caused health problems in patients with impaired immune systems. The microorganism was discovered in 2015 and throughout the years did not cause any problems for astronauts, because the hygiene measures at the station are extreme, and the astronauts who enter the orbit always enjoy good health.

However, there is still room for anxiety. Researchers who have written research on newly published bacteria warn that the body has a 79% chance of mutating a variety capable of infecting humans if there are appropriate circumstances. The body is completely immune to five common antibiotics, such as penicillin, cefazolin or oxycillin, and has some resistance to others.[[[[BMC Microbiology by Science Alert]

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