1998-07-13

Microbial Contamination Monitoring of Space Stations: PCR Analysis for Downloaded Samples of EUROMIR'95 Experiment T2 981762

Experiment T2, carried out during the EUROMIR'95 mission, demonstrated that microbial contamination can be directly monitored on board, thanks to innovative sampling and analysis methods. After flight, part of T2 downloaded samples were analysed by a method based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The analyses were aimed at quantifying both bacteria and fungi on the same sample.
Although this activity was initially considered a simple adjustment of the PCR technique, the dramatic originality of its features was soon clear, especially due to partial readiness or unavailability of suitable tools and information.
Work and results are described in the paper. A sensitivity of one micro-organism per sample was obtained, with bacteria and fungi detected in the same sample.

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