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Project Title:  Effects of Low Dose Radiation and Radiation Countermeasures on Infection by Spaceflight Analogue Cultured Salmonella using 3-D Biomimetic Human Tissue Models Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2021 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 04/28/2021  
End Date: 04/27/2022  
Task Last Updated: 08/17/2021 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Nickerson, Cheryl A Ph.D. / Arizona State University 
Address:  Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology/The Biodesign Institute 
1001 S McAllister Avenue 
Tempe , AZ 85287-5401 
Phone: 480-727-7520  
Congressional District:
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Arizona State University 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE PI moved from Tulane University to Arizona State University in 2006. 
Barrila, Jennifer  Ph.D. Arizona State University 
Colorado, Audrie  Ph.D. KBR/NASA Johnson Space Center 
Ott, Mark  Ph.D. NASA Johnson Space Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. 80NSSC21K1024 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Stenger, Michael  
Center Contact: 281-483-1311 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2020 HERO 80JSC019N0001-HFBP, OMNIBUS3 Crew Health: Human Factors and Behavioral Performance-Appendix E; Omnibus3-Appendix F 
Grant/Contract No.: 80NSSC21K1024 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
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Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Microhost:Risk of Adverse Health Effects Due to Host-Microorganism Interactions (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Micro-102:Evaluate whether deep-space radiation has an additive or synergistic effect with weightlessness/isolation/confinement on microbial types, numbers, and virulence (IRP Rev L)
Task Description: Background: While both microgravity and radiation are major biological stressors associated with the spaceflight environment, their cumulative impact on host-pathogen interactions and infectious disease risks are rarely considered. This is critical to address, since the cumulative effects of these stressors during spaceflight may result in unexpected negative impacts on crew health and performance that neither condition alone would predict, thus limiting the ability to develop effective countermeasures. Previously, we showed that both spaceflight and spaceflight analogue culture increased the virulence and pathogenesis-related characteristics of the foodborne pathogen, Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), which is responsible for disqualification of food destined for the International Space Station and has been found aboard NASA spacecraft. Recently, we demonstrated that spaceflight-analogue culture of S. Typhimurium increased its ability to infect 3-D biomimetic human intestinal tissue models. In a separate study, we showed low dose radiation damaged our 3-D intestinal models. The primary objective of this proposal is to evaluate the possibility that low dose radiation will exacerbate the already increased bacterial pathogenicity of S. Typhimurium observed following spaceflight analogue culture. In addition, we will determine the impact of a radiation countermeasure to provide protection against both radiation and pathogen-induced tissue damage and inflammation.

Hypothesis: The already enhanced infection potential of spaceflight analogue cultured S. Typhimurium will be further exacerbated when used to infect host cells exposed to low dose radiation and this enhanced pathogenicity can be mitigated by a radioprotective compound.

Aims: 1. Characterize the impact of spaceflight-analogue culture on the ability of S. Typhimurium to infect 3-D biomimetic intestinal tissue models before and after exposure to low dose radiation. 2. Evaluate the ability of the radioprotective compound, EC-18, to protect 3-D intestinal models from low dose radiation, S. Typhimurium infection, and the cumulative impact of these stressors.

Significance: Current infectious disease risk assessments for spaceflight do not consider the potential for increased susceptibility to infection and disease resulting from exposure to low dose radiation, which is a critical consideration. This study will provide key evidence to determine if exposure to low dose radiation may be a factor in astronaut susceptibility to infection during long duration exploration missions and the impact of selected countermeasures to mitigate that risk to crew health.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2021 
Task Progress: New project for FY2021.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 12/28/2021) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2021