elib
DLR-Header
DLR-Logo -> http://www.dlr.de
DLR Portal Home | Imprint | Privacy Policy | Contact | Deutsch
Fontsize: [-] Text [+]

Preparing for the crewed Mars journey: microbiota dynamics in the confined Mars500 habitat during simulated Mars flight and landing

Schwendner, Petra and Mahnert, Alexander and Koskinen, Kaisa and Moissl-Eichinger, Christine and Barczyk, Simon and Wirth, Reinhard and Berg, Gabriele and Rettberg, Petra (2017) Preparing for the crewed Mars journey: microbiota dynamics in the confined Mars500 habitat during simulated Mars flight and landing. Microbiome, 5 (1). BioMed Central. DOI: 10.1186/s40168-017-0345-8 ISSN 2049-2618

[img] PDF
2MB

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40168-017-0345-8

Abstract

Background: The Mars500 project was conceived as the first full duration simulation of a crewed return flight to Mars. For 520 days, six crew members lived confined in a specifically designed spacecraft mock-up. The herein described “MIcrobial ecology of Confined Habitats and humAn health” (MICHA) experiment was implemented to acquire comprehensive microbiota data from this unique, confined manned habitat, to retrieve important information on the occurring microbiota dynamics, the microbial load and diversity in the air and on various surfaces. In total, 360 samples from 20 (9 air, 11 surface) locations were taken at 18 time-points and processed by extensive cultivation, PhyloChip and next generation sequencing (NGS) of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Results: Cultivation assays revealed a Staphylococcus and Bacillus-dominated microbial community on various surfaces, with an average microbial load that did not exceed the allowed limits for ISS in-flight requirements indicating adequate maintenance of the facility. Areas with high human activity were identified as hotspots for microbial accumulation. Despite substantial fluctuation with respect to microbial diversity and abundance throughout the experiment, the location within the facility and the confinement duration were identified as factors significantly shaping the microbial diversity and composition, with the crew representing the main source for microbial dispersal. Opportunistic pathogens, stress-tolerant or potentially mobile element-bearing microorganisms were predicted to be prevalent throughout the confinement, while the overall microbial diversity dropped significantly over time. Conclusions: Our findings clearly indicate that under confined conditions, the community structure remains a highly dynamic system which adapts to the prevailing habitat and micro-conditions. Since a sterile environment is not achievable, these dynamics need to be monitored to avoid spreading of highly resistant or potentially pathogenic microorganisms and a potentially harmful decrease of microbial diversity. If necessary, countermeasures are required, to maintain a healthy, diverse balance of beneficial, neutral and opportunistic pathogenic microorganisms. Our results serve as an important data collection for (i) future risk estimations of crewed space flight, (ii) an optimized design and planning of a spacecraft mission and (iii) for the selection of appropriate microbial monitoring approaches and potential countermeasures, to ensure a microbiologically safe space-flight environment.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/114518/
Document Type:Article
Title:Preparing for the crewed Mars journey: microbiota dynamics in the confined Mars500 habitat during simulated Mars flight and landing
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Schwendner, PetraPresent address: UK Center for Astrobiology, University of Edinburgh, School of Physics and Astronomy, Peter Guthrie Tait Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FD, UK; petra.schwendner (at) ed.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Mahnert, AlexanderInstitute of Environmental Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 12/I, 8010 Graz, Austria.UNSPECIFIED
Koskinen, KaisaMedical University of Graz, Department of Internal Medicine, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria and BioTechMed-Graz, Mozartgasse 12/II, 8010 Graz, Austria.UNSPECIFIED
Moissl-Eichinger, ChristineMedical University of Graz, Department of Internal Medicine, Auenbruggerplatz 15, 8036 Graz, Austria and BioTechMed-Graz, Mozartgasse 12/II, 8010 Graz, Austria; christine.moissl-eichinger (at) medunigraz.atUNSPECIFIED
Barczyk, Simonradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Wirth, ReinhardInstitute for Microbiology, University of Regensburg, Universitaetsstrasse 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.UNSPECIFIED
Berg, GabrieleInstitute of Environmental Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 12/I, 8010 Graz, Austria.UNSPECIFIED
Rettberg, Petraradiation biology department, institute of aerospace medicine, german aerospace center (dlr), cologne, germany; petra.rettberg (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4439-2395
Date:2017
Journal or Publication Title:Microbiome
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:5
DOI :10.1186/s40168-017-0345-8
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:2049-2618
Status:Published
Keywords:Mars500, Microbiota, Built environment, Mars flight simulation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:27 Oct 2017 12:55
Last Modified:27 Oct 2017 12:55

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Browse
Search
Help & Contact
Information
electronic library is running on EPrints 3.3.12
Copyright © 2008-2017 German Aerospace Center (DLR). All rights reserved.