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Aviat Space Environ Med. 1994 Jun;65(6):551-6.

Behavior of bacteria and antibiotics under space conditions.

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Groupe de Recherches Cliniques de Radiobiologie et Biologie Gravitationnelle, Faculté de Medecine Rangueil, Toulouse, France.


We have previously reported an increase of the "resistance" to antibiotics of bacteria during space missions. In the present experiment, we studied the growth of Escherichia coli cultured in vitro in space in the presence of dihydrostreptomycin: tritiated and nontritiated. This experiment was carried out during the STS 42 mission aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle Discovery (IML-1 program). Cells were cultured in plastic bags and growth was stopped at six different time points by lowering the temperature to 5 degrees C. Several methods were used: viable cell counting by Colony Forming Units; total cell number by optical densitometry; electron microscopy; radioactivity measurements. The investigations show no difference between flight and ground experiments for the cultures without antibiotic. The growth rate with antibiotic was accelerated in flight, the growth yield was not changed, and there were no differences in the ultrastructures. The results suggest some changes in antibiotic binding in space. We did not observe any differences between the cultures developed in flight in the 1-g centrifuge and the cultures placed in the static rack in microgravity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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