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Continuous monitoring of bacterial attachmentA major concern with the Space Station Freedom (SSF) water supply system is the control of longterm microbial contamination and biofilm development in the water storage and distribution systems. These biofilms have the potential for harboring pathogens as well as microbial strains containing resistance factors that could negatively influence crew health. The proposed means for disinfecting the water system on SSF (iodine) may encourage the selection of resistant strains. In fact, biofilm bacteria were observed in water lines from the Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102); therefore, an alternative remediation method is required to disinfect spacecraft water lines. A thorough understanding of colonization events and the physiological parameters that will influence bacteria adhesion is required. The limiting factor for development of this technology is the ability to continuously monitor adhesion events and the effects of biocides on sessile bacteria. Methods were developed to allow bacterial adhesion and subsequent biocidal treatment to be monitored continuously. This technique couples automated image analysis with a continuous flow of a bacterial suspension through an optical flow cell. A strain of Pseudomonas cepacia isolated from the water supply of the Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) during STS-39 was grown in a nitrogen-limited continuous culture. This culture was challenged continuously with iodine during growth, and the adhesion characteristics of this strain was measure with regard to flow rate. Various biocides (ozone, hypochlorite, and iodine) were added to the flow stream to evaluate how well each chemical removed the bacteria. After biocide treatment, a fresh bacterial suspension was introduced into the flow cell, and the attachment rate was evaluated on the previously treated surface. This secondary fouling was again treated with biocide to determine the efficacy of multiple batch chemical treatments in removing biofilm.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Koeing, D. W.
(Krug Life Sciences, Inc. Houston, TX., United States)
Mishra, S. K.
(Krug Life Sciences, Inc. Houston, TX., United States)
Pierson, D. L.
(NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Seventh Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1993), Volume 2
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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