Some time ago, scientists said they had discovered microbes on the International Space Station (ISS). Now a further study is carried out to identify these microbes. The team then analyzed samples collected from 8 locations on the ISS for three launches in 14 months. Samples are obtained from windows, toilets, sports equipment, dining tables, to the beds of astronauts.
The results of the analysis show that most of the microbes in the ISS are related to humans. Of these samples, some of the most commonly found microbes are Staphylococcus (26 percent); Pantoea (23 percent), and Bacillus (11 percent).
These microbes are very often live on earth. In fact, they usually pose health risks on earth. For example, Staphylococcus aureus is often found on the skin and inside the nose.
In a report in the Microbiome journal, the researchers said that bacteria are common in gyms, offices, or hospitals.
This means, microbes on the ISS appear because of the presence of astronauts.
“Specific microbes in space on earth have been shown to have an impact on human health. This finding is even more important for astronauts during flight into space, because at that time they did not have medical access like on Earth, “said Kasthuri Venkateswaran, one of the authors of the study quoted from Health24.
Even so, the senior NASA researcher suggested further studies of microbes on the ISS. “Given the possibility of a long-term mission in the future, it is important to identify the types of microorganisms that can accumulate in unique and closed environments related to space flight, how long they last and their impact on human health and spacecraft infrastructure,” explained Venkateswaran.
The scientists also noted that some microbes also cause disease on earth. However, whether these microorganisms when in space can make astronauts fall ill is still unknown.
“This will depend on a number of factors, including the health status of each individual and how the organism works while in space,” said Aleksandra Checinska Sielaff, the report’s first author.
“Apart from that, the detection of possible disease-causing organisms highlights the importance of further research to examine how these ISS microbes work in space,” he continued.