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Investigation of Host-Pathogen Interactions, Conserved Cellular Responses, and Countermeasure Efficacy During Spaceflight using the Human Surrogate Model Caenorhabditis elegans (NNX10AO52G)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cell and molecular biology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Caenorhabditis elegans Species: Nematode

Changes that occur to both the host immune system and pathogenesis of microbes during spaceflight represent a formidable challenge to the successful transition from short-to-long-duration spaceflight. While spaceflight has been shown to induce changes that can independently affect the host or the pathogen in a manner that is directly relevant to the development of infectious disease during spaceflight – no studies have been reported when both the host and pathogen are simultaneously exposed to the spaceflight environment. We propose to challenge the human surrogate model Caenorhabditis elegans with S. typhimurium during spaceflight to study the role of the intestine in host-pathogen interactions in real-time, define virulence mechanisms, identify evolutionarily conserved responses, and test novel therapeutic strategies to prevent infectious disease. We hypothesize that the combination of a spaceflight-induced increase in virulence of the pathogen coupled with a blunted immune response of the host will result in a synergistic effect on the host-pathogen interaction such that the risk of infectious disease during spaceflight is exacerbated. We further propose that these responses represent evolutionarily conserved mechanisms at the level of both host and pathogen that are dependent on media ion composition, specifically the local concentration of phosphate.

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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
SpaceX_5 01/10/2015 02/11/2015 32 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Ames Research Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Helen Stewart
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2009 Space Life Sciences-