Clean water for drinking, food preparation, and bathing is essential for astronaut health and safety during long duration habitation of the International Space Station (ISS), including future missions to Mars. Despite stringent water treatment and recycling efforts on the ISS, it is impossible to completely prevent microbial contamination of onboard water supplies. In this work, we used a spaceflight analogue culture system to better understand how the microgravity environment can influence the pathogenesis-related characteristics of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), an opportunistic pathogen previously recovered from the ISS water system. The results of the present study suggest that there may be important differences in how this pathogen can respond and adapt to spaceflight and other low fluid shear environments encountered during their natural life cycles. Future studies are aimed at understanding the underlying mechanisms responsible for these phenotypes.
- The Effects of Low Shear Modeled Microgravity Culture on Burkholderia cepacia complex