Development of Multiple Antibiotic Resistance By Opportunistic Bacterial Pathogens During Human Space Flight (BRIC-18-1) - 07.29.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
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.

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending



This content was provided by Wayne L. Nicholson, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Wayne L. Nicholson, University of Florida - Space Life Sciences Laboratory, Merritt Island, FL, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Ralf Moeller, Institute of Aerospace Medicine - German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany
  • Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos, University of Florida - Space Life Sciences Laboratory, Merritt Island, FL, United States

  • Developer(s)
    Kennedy Space Center, , FL, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2014 - September 2014

    Expeditions Assigned
    39/40

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • 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.

    Description

    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.

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    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.

    Earth Applications

    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.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    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. 

    Operational Protocols

    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 . 

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    Results/More Information

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    Related Websites

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    Imagery