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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Autoflora in the upper respiratory tract of Apollo astronauts.

The typical microbial inhabitants of the oral and nasal cavities of Apollo astronauts were identified before space flight and generally found to be similar to those previously reported for healthy male adults. Additional analyses of samples collected immediately after return of the Apollo 13, 14, 15, and 16 crew members to earth were performed to evaluate the effects of space travel on the microbial bioburden of the upper respiratory tract. In-flight cross-contamination and buildup of pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus were noted, although significant increases in nonpathogenic species were absent. Other proposed alterations, such as dysbacteriosis (flooding of the mouth with a single species) and simplification of the autoflora, did not occur. Generally, the incidence and quantitation of each species after flight was within the preflight range, although the number of viable Haemophilus cells recovered from the mouth decreased significantly after space flight. Except for those minor alterations listed above, the aerobic and anaerobic bacterial components of the upper respiratory autoflora of Apollo astronauts was found to be stable after space flight of up to 295 h.[1]


  1. Autoflora in the upper respiratory tract of Apollo astronauts. Decelle, J.G., Taylor, G.R. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1976) [Pubmed]
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