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Disease-causing germs on ISS a concern for NASA

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Germs are unwelcome, even in the space. NASA scientists have discovered that the International Space Station (ISS) has become a breeding ground for disease-inducing bacteria.

Many of the organisms are known to form both bacterial and fungal biofilms that promote resistance to antibiotics.

NASA explained that the biofilms' ability to cause microbial-induced corrosion on Earth could also damage the ISS infrastructure by causing mechanical blockages, Engadget reported.

These microbes come from humans and are similar to the ones in gyms, offices, and hospitals, and include some pathogens commonly found on the skin, nasal passage, and human gastrointestinal tract.

These microbes can cause diseases back on Earth. However, it is unclear if they will have a similar effect on the ISS' inhabitants.

Given that astronauts have altered immunity during spaceflight and do not have access to sophisticated medical interventions available on Earth, NASA's latest study on the existence of microbes lurking on the ISS will help in devising safety measures for astronauts and long-term space travel.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 08 2019. 23:05 IST