Immune recognition of putative alien microbial structures: Host–pathogen interactions in the age of space travel

Autoři: Mihai G. Netea aff001;  Jorge Domínguez-Andrés aff001;  Marc Eleveld aff003;  Huub J. M. op den Camp aff004;  Jos W. M. van der Meer aff001;  Neil A. R. Gow aff005;  Marien I. de Jonge aff003
Působiště autorů: Department of Internal Medicine and Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands aff001;  Department for Genomics & Immunoregulation, Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES), University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany aff002;  Department of Laboratory Medicine and Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands aff003;  Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands aff004;  School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: Immune recognition of putative alien microbial structures: Host–pathogen interactions in the age of space travel. PLoS Pathog 16(1): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1008153
Kategorie: Review
doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008153


Human space travel is on the verge of visiting Mars and, in the future, even more distant places in the solar system. These journeys will be also made by terrestrial microorganisms (hitchhiking on the bodies of astronauts or on scientific instruments) that, upon arrival, will come into contact with new planetary environments, despite the best measures to prevent contamination. These microorganisms could potentially adapt and grow in the new environments and subsequently recolonize and infect astronauts. An even more challenging situation would be if truly alien microorganisms will be present on these solar system bodies: What will be their pathogenic potential, and how would our immune host defenses react? It will be crucial to anticipate these situations and investigate how the immune system of humans might cope with modified terrestrial or alien microbes. We propose several scenarios that may be encountered and how to respond to these challenges.

Klíčová slova:

Astronauts – Immune system – Mars – Planets – Moons – Solar system – Earth – Meteors


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