Changes in the microbial flora commonly seen in astronauts

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According to a new study by scientists at the University of Montreal and McGill University, the crew members who participated in the Mars500 experiment showed significant changes in the gut microbiota from 520 days of confinement.

Study published today Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal Funded by the Canadian Space Agency, we analyzed data from fecal samples from six crew members from Russia, Europe, and China.

The crew lived in a completely enclosed habitat in Moscow from June 2010 to November 2011, simulating a manned mission to Mars that the International Space Agency wants to do in the 2030s. Their confinement was the longest ever performed on humans under controlled conditions.

The goal is to test the effects of life separated from the world on physiological and psychological health. In the end, previous studies have shown that all six crew members appeared with significant changes in weight, strength, and other indicators.

The discovery of changes in the microbiota represents a missing link between these symptoms, how well astronauts work and recover in long space flights, and humans generally with habitats. Deepen scientists’ understanding of how they interact.

Major metabolic disruptions

In addition to suffering a significant loss of weight and strength, Mars500 crew members suffered a major prediabetes disruption of glucose metabolism, a common symptom after long-term space flight after exiting captivity. Shown.

In their study, researchers used newly developed genomic technology to break down resistant starch, improve nutrient absorption, and prevent intestinal inflammation, including the loss of beneficial gut microbiota. We have identified changes in some of the members’ microbiota.

Analysis also found that long confinement appears to increase the number of recently discovered gut microbiota in humans, and its importance to human health is not yet properly understood.

“Care should be taken not to assume a causal relationship between changes in the gut microbiota and disruption of crew metabolism,” said UdeM Organism, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the University’s Institut de Rechercheen Biologie Végétale. Said scholar Nicholas Brereton.

“Important steps”

“But a significant reduction in these particular gut microbiota is meaningful for the condition, and identifying significant microbial flora changes is an important step in protecting the health of astronauts.”

Frédéric Pitre, his colleague and co-author UdeM biologist, added: “What we are interested in is the significant increase in certain unknown microbial species observed in other recent studies using advanced metagenomic technology, but it is still a mystery.”

Deterioration of astronaut musculoskeletal and metabolic health is known to be a major risk factor for space flight, and its impact will increase in longer missions, such as during manned missions to Mars. Expected.

For their study, Breton and his team developed a high-resolution genomics technique for accurately identifying and quantifying gut microbiota species, eventually sharing over 200 among the crew. I found that it has been done.

“Common among individuals”

“Most of the human microbiota, like other ecosystems, is very specific to each individual, but there are also important gut microbiota that are common among individuals,” said McGill University’s interdisciplinary infection and immunity. Emmanuel Gonzalez, a metagenomic specialist for the initiative, said.

“By assessing the microbiota in very high resolution, we were able to observe these important common changes in the Mars 500 crew that had never been seen before,” said McGill University’s Center for Computational Genomics in Canada. Gonzales, the lead author of the study, also belongs to.

“Another interesting comparison was the comparison of crew gut bacteria with bacteria on the surface of enclosed habitats, which allows the human and environmental microbiota to interact as a kind of dialogue between ecosystems. It gives you real insight into the extent to which it can work. “

“A reanalysis of the Mars500 experiment revealed changes in the general gut microbiota of astronauts caused by long-term confinement,” said Nicholas Breton, Frederick Pitre, and Emmanuel Gonzalez. On April 22, 2021 Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal..

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For more information:
NJB Brereton et al. A reanalysis of the Mars500 experiment revealed changes in the general gut microbiota of astronauts caused by long-term confinement. Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.csbj.2021.03.040

Courtesy of the University of Montreal

Quote: Feeling trapped in the intestine: Common microbiota changes in astronauts (April 23, 2021) were posted on April 23, 2021 at Obtained from -04-confinement-gut-microbiome-common-astronauts.html.

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Changes in the microbial flora commonly seen in astronauts

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