We all know that water on the International Space Station is going through various ways of being refined, but surprises could occur. While the world is trembling at the numerous cases of coronavirus infections, the International Space Station is also confronting with some type of microscopic threat. The drinking water has been colonized by two strong species of bacteria, raising concern among the crew.
The water dispenser on the ISS recycles the drinking water by using specialized filters and iodine to kill bacteria. After a close analysis, the dispenser was found to be contaminated by two species of bacteria. Therefore, the crew headed for a Russian back-up water system.
No need to worry
Luckily for us, a new analysis leads to the conclusion that the bacteria found in the dispenser is no more dangerous than those we encounter on Earth. However, the two species of bacteria, Burkholderia cepacia and Burkholderia contaminans, can be dangerous for people who have a weakened immune system.
The analysis included both of the bacteria species collected from the drinking water system present on the ISS between 2010 and 2014. After examining the DNA and characteristics, the conclusion was that the bacteria has its origin on Earth. Also, another important conclusion is that the conditions on the International Space Station are not somehow making the two bacteria species stronger or immune to antibiotics.
However, it usually goes on like this: the water system, once it fails, must be replaced with a new one. A different decontamination method after installation is also required. The International Space Station is expecting new crew members from the Russian space agency Roscosmos soon, and it’s mandatory that they will not get involved in anything dangerous or risky for their health.
The study of the bacteria found on ISS has been published in the open-access journal PLOS One on Wednesday. Therefore, we should be more worried about the coronavirus.