New study says there’s no need to worry about two bacteria mixed into the International Space Station’s drinking water system

Earlier reports said the International Space Station had detected two powerful bacteria in its drinking water facilities. But a new analysis suggests that it is no more harmful than the bacteria that may be encountered on Earth. It is reported that the current use of water dispensers on the International Space Station, was delivered in 2009. Because the cost of sending water from Earth to space is too high, the space station must use special filters (supplemented with iodine-containing fungicides) to recycle drinking water.

New study says there's no need to worry about two bacteria mixed into the International Space Station's drinking water system

Astronaut Chris Hadfield inspects a bag of drinking water (photo: NASA TV, via Cnet)

However, after installing the water dispenser, an analysis found that the system was quickly contaminated by the bacteria of the Burkholderia genus, forcing astronauts to switch to Russia’s backup water treatment system.

One guess about how the bacteria got mixed was that it infiltrated the dispensing machine before flying off the earth.

For people with compromised immune systems, such as cystic fibrosis, Burkhold’s bacteria can cause problems.

However, the bacteria actually withstood the test of sterilization decontamination procedures, so that we have a deep reflection on its viability.

On Wednesday, we saw a new published study in PLOS One.

The researchers analyzed DNA and physical characteristics of samples taken from the International Space Station drinking water system between 2010 and 2014.

It was found that 24 strains of bacteria, albeit somewhat different but very similar, may have originated from two parent strains that grew in the drinking water system when they left Earth.

In addition, studies have confirmed that there is no difference between the immune response and the ability to split, whether found on the International Space Station or on Earth.

In short, the resistance of space strains to antibiotics has virtually not changed. This is absolutely good news for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

In addition, in the event of a failure of the water supply system, the International Space Station will pay greater attention to the replacement of the new system.

In addition to different purification methods, the researchers recommend using other disinfectants (e.g. silver-containing fungicides).

The authors point out that it may be more valuable to test the amount of iodine-containing and silver-containing preparations.