Germ Free Studies
Laboratory Animal Diet Considerations for Germ Free Studies
2020 - A commentary on current research considerations
Laura Griffin, Ph.D. Project Manager & Scientist, Research Diets, Inc.
Steven Yeung, M.S Project Manager & Scientist, Research Diets, Inc.
The human gut is host to trillions of microorganisms and is unique to individuals. Numerous environmental factors are known to influence
the microbiome, including short and long term dietary trends. It is now understood that the gut microbiome influences host health and is
involved in disease onset. As such, the volume of research revolving around the gut-microbiome’s involvement in health and disease has
escalated in the past two decades. Mouse models are the most commonly used mammalian species in mechanistic studies of health and disease. To fully understand the role of the gut microbiome in disease states, it is necessary to perform research studies in a variety of mouse models including germ-free or gnotobiotic colonies. Germ free animals are maintained so that their gut microbiomes are uncolonized i.e. they are not hosts to any other living organisms. Similarly, gnotobiotic animals are free of pathogens, but may be host to specific organisms in a controlled environment. Read More.