Development of Multiple Antibiotic Resistance By Opportunistic Bacterial Pathogens During Human Space Flight (BRIC-18-1) - 09.17.14
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The Biological Research in Canisters (BRIC) hardware has supported a variety of plant growth investigations. The BRIC-18 investigation will focus on the growth and development of seedlings in microgravity. Seedlings will be preserved with a chemical fixative and returned to the ground for postflight evaluation.
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Kennedy Space Center, , FL, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014
Previous ISS Missions
- Maintaining astronaut health during long-term spaceflight is of prime importantce to the success of exploration missions to destinations such as the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, or Mars.
- The immune system weakens during Low Earth Orbit missions, rendering astronauts mores susceptible to infection.
- Microgravity has been shown to increase virulence and antibiotic resistance in certain bacterial species.
- This investigation will test the effects of microgravity of the combination treatment of RIF and TMP.
Maintaining astronaut health during long-term spaceflight is of prime importance to the success of exploration missions to destinations such as the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, or Mars. The immune system weakens during missions in Low Earth Orbit, rendering astronauts mores susceptible to infection. Microgravity induces in certain bacterial species increased virulence properties such as: adherence to mammalian cells, biofilm formation, resistance to acid and macrophages, and antibiotic resistance. As part of the normal population of microbial inhabitants on and within the human body, astronauts carry many microbes considered “opportunistic pathogens”, i.e., normally harmless microbes with the potential to cause disease in hosts with lowered immune function. Opportunistic infections are often treated with combinations of two antibiotics that differ in their mechanisms of action. Combination treatment can be effective because (i) certain antibiotic combinations work synergistically to more effectively combat the pathogen than either drug given alone, and (ii) the probability of the pathogen evolving resistance to two antibiotics simultaneously is much lower than that of becoming resistant to a single antibiotic.
The BRIC-PDFU hardware provides the capability to grow seedlings, deliver a chemical inhibitor and a separate chemical preservative in one piece of hardware without the need for a glovebox. This approach minimizes resources such as volume, mass and crew time.
As with all basic research, an improved understanding of basic growth phenomena has important implications for improving growth and biomass production on Earth and thus will benefit the average citizen.
Cells will be handed over in dry statis and will be activated 7 days after docking with a TSY+10% glycerol growth medium. After a 7 day growth period, the BRIC canisters are stored at -95 deg. C in the MELFI until landing and handover. Frozen samples are planned for return on the same SpaceX mission as launched.
At 7 and 14 days after docking, the BRIC-18-1 payload hardware is accessed for activation. A rod is removed from the Rod Kit and inserted into the BRIC-PDFU Actuator Tool. The BRIC-PDFU Actuator Tool is attached to the selected BRIC-PDFU canister lid in position 1 and is used to mechanically force TSY+10% glycerol growth medium into the Petri dishes. The process is repeated until all the PDFUs are activated in both canisters. 7 days after activation, the BRIC canisters must be transferred to the MELFI for freezing of the samples at -80°C or less .