Task Study of the impact of long-term space travel on the astronaut's microbiome (Completed)
Last Published:  11/23/20 11:55:12 AM (Central)
Short Title: Microbiome (Crew Microbiome)
Responsible HRP Element: Human Health Countermeasures
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):
    The human microbiome is defined as the collection of all bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi that lives on and in the human body. Some of these microbial species have a beneficial or protective effect on human health and their loss can lead to an altered metabolic function and/or increase the chance of infection by opportunistic pathogens. The goal of this project is to investigate whether the composition of the astronauts’ microbiome changes during long-term space exploration.  
    1. Obtain biological samples from crewmembers at feasibly accessible sites susceptible to infection (e.g., mucosa and skin) during the course of a mission, to determine the type, species and relative prevalence of microorganisms that have direct contact with the crew and compare the in-flight samples to pre-flight and post-flight samples. 
    1. Obtain samples from crewmembers GI tract pre- and post-flight and compare the type, species and relative prevalence of microorganisms in the samples.
    2. Assess crewmember hygiene, immune function, nutritional status, and general health at the time microbial samples are obtained.
    3. Relate the data collected to address the aims described above to temperature, humidity, and other relevant parameters of the spacecraft.

The project is recruiting subjects for the study and began collecting samples in 2013.