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Title: Detection of antimicrobial resistance genes associated with the International Space Station environmental surfaces

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health issue. In an effort to minimize this threat to astronauts, who may be immunocompromised and thus at a greater risk of infection from antimicrobial resistant pathogens, a comprehensive study of the ISS “resistome’ was conducted. Using whole genome sequencing (WGS) and disc diffusion antibiotic resistance assays, 9 biosafety level 2 organisms isolated from the ISS were assessed for their antibiotic resistance. Molecular analysis of AMR genes from 24 surface samples collected from the ISS during 3 different sampling events over a span of a year were analyzed with Ion AmpliSeq™ and metagenomics. Disc diffusion assays showed that Enterobacter bugandensis strains were resistant to all 9 antibiotics tested and Staphylococcus haemolyticus being resistant to none. Ion AmpliSeq™ revealed that 123 AMR genes were found, with those responsible for beta-lactam and trimethoprim resistance being the most abundant and widespread. Using a variety of methods, the genes involved in antimicrobial resistance have been examined for the first time from the ISS. Lastly, this information could lead to mitigation strategies to maintain astronaut health during long duration space missions when return to Earth for treatment is not possible.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States)
  2. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States); Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  3. Naval Medical Research Center - Frederick, MD (United States)
  4. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  5. Allosource, Centennial, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; resistome; antibiotic resistance; International Space Station; sequencing
OSTI Identifier: