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ISS washrooms are invaded by "space insects" that can infect astronauts



Analyzes showed that the five strains of the mysterious bacteria found in the space station belonged to one species, Enterobacter bugandensis. They looked like genomes that infected newborns on our planet, raising fears that they also threaten the health of astronauts.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station coexist with a colony of "space bugs" that could pose a risk to future space missions, according to a new study.

According to researchers at the California Institute of Technology, who published their findings in the journal BMC Microbiology, the outpost in orbit is home to five varieties of Enterobacter, a stem-like bacterium that resembles infectious organisms infecting hospitalized patients. including newborns in Africa and the North. America. The microbe samples were taken from the toilets and the space station exercise area.

Thanksgiving at the International Space Station

"We revealed that the genomes of the five ISS strains of Enterobacter were genetically more similar to the three newly discovered strains on Earth.These three strains belonged to one species of the bacterium, called Enterobacter bugandensis, which had been recognized as responsible for diseases in newborns and a compromised patient virus, which has been admitted to three different hospitals (in East Africa, Washington state and Colorado), "said Kasthuri Venkateswaran, researcher at the laboratory that commissioned the study.

The research team believes that bacteria, in their current form, do not pose a threat to human health. However, they warn that "space bugs" should be monitored as they could potentially pose a risk to future missions.

Although ISS strains seem non-virulent to humans in their current form, the authors warn about a 79% probability that they could potentially cause the disease. However, as scientists used computer analysis to make this prediction, they recommended further research on living organisms.

Source: Sputnik News

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