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Stability of Bacteriophage MS2 in Spaceflight Conditions

Pavletić, Bruno (2022) Stability of Bacteriophage MS2 in Spaceflight Conditions. Viruses of Microbes 2022 (VoM 2022), 18-22 July 2022, Guimarães, Portugal.

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Recent years have demonstrated the dangers that viral diseases pose to public health. If an outbreak happens in a space habitat, the consequences would be more devastating for astronaut health than on Earth. Additionally, bacteriophages pose a real threat in spaceflight biotechnology. Considering that biotechnology plays and will play an important role in deep space exploration like oxygen/food production by cyanobacteria and synthesis of drugs/proteins by genetically engineered bacteria. Therefore, bacteriophages have the capacity to destroy bacterial cultures, halting biotechnological processes on space stations. Since astronauts will depend on those processes, bacteriophage contamination will be a significant threat. It is relevant to understand the bacteriophage infectivity and distribution in spaceflight environments, which differ significantly from the environments on Earth. In this research, virions of phage MS2, a surrogate for enteric and respiratory viruses have been exposed to some of the physical conditions of deep space: temperatures of -80 °C, and up to 80 °C, lunar dust simulant, near-vacuum pressure, high X-ray doses, and dispersion in cold droplets under presence of UV. Results show that most tested conditions of space rapidly inactivate bacteriophage MS2. However, to some of those conditions like extremely low temperatures, near-vacuum, or X-rays, viruses showed a higher degree of resistance than expected. Also, lunar dust simulant showed some degree of protection for viruses at high temperatures but aids their inactivation at low temperatures. Additionally, MS2 has been shown to be transmissible in air droplets and aerosols, even under UV light, aiding the idea of viral stability in water plumes of solar system’s icy moons like Europa or Enceladus. Taken together, this study shows that physical conditions of deep space inactivate bacteriophage MS2 to some extent. This paves the way for the future research of spaceflight virology.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/189264/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Stability of Bacteriophage MS2 in Spaceflight Conditions
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Pavletić, BrunoRadiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne, Germany.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:July 2022
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:spaceflight virology, bacteriophage MS2
Event Title:Viruses of Microbes 2022 (VoM 2022)
Event Location:Guimarães, Portugal
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:18-22 July 2022
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 - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project ISS LIFE 2.0
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:10 Nov 2022 12:22
Last Modified:22 Nov 2022 14:09

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