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Early Results and Spaceflight Implications of the SWAB Flight ExperimentMicrobial monitoring of spacecraft environments provides key information in the assessment of infectious disease risk to the crew. Monitoring aboard the Mir space station and International Space Station (ISS) has provided a tremendous informational baseline to aid in determining the types and concentrations of microorganisms during a mission. Still, current microbial monitoring hardware utilizes culture-based methodology which may not detect many medically significant organisms, such as Legionella pneumophila. We hypothesize that evaluation of the ISS environment using non-culture-based technologies would reveal microorganisms not previously reported in spacecraft, allowing for a more complete health assessment. To achieve this goal, a spaceflight experiment, operationally designated as SWAB, was designed to evaluate the DNA from environmental samples collected from ISS and vehicles destined for ISS. Results from initial samples indicate that the sample collection and return procedures were successful. Analysis of these samples using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and targeted PCR primers for fungal contaminants is underway. The current results of SWAB and their implication for in-flight molecular analysis of environmental samples will be discussed.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Ott, C. Mark (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Pierson, Duane L. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
September 17, 2007
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Meeting Information
5th Space Microbiology Workshop(Tokyo)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.