home .Featured, Antimicrobials and Resistance, Space Development of antibiotic resistance under simulated microgravity

Development of antibiotic resistance under simulated microgravity

So just a quick post about this new paper “Evaluation of Acquired Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli Exposed to Long-Term Low-Shear Modeled Microgravity and Background Antibiotic Exposure“.   Seems pretty straightforward… 1000 generations of E. coli in simulated microgravity… expose them to antibiotics and study the development of resistance.   This is in contrast to some previous work by the authors where they show that in the absence of antibiotic treatment, no resistance develops under similar conditions.

Cue the following sort of reporting:

“Antibiotics should be used with caution in outer space since they may quickly fuel drug resistance in bacteria, researchers report in mBio.

The researchers found Escherichia coli bacteria treated with antibiotics in a simulated microgravity environment rapidly developed resistance to antibiotics.

The bacteria was still resistant to the drugs over time even when they were no longer exposed to an antibiotic. Cells grown under the same conditions that did not get exposed to antibiotics, however, did not develop resistance.”

So maybe I’m not getting this… but duh?   We already know all of this from hundreds of studies on the development of antibiotic resistance right?   Why should we expect that to be any different in microgravity?




David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

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