MICROBIOME AND GERM-FREE INSIGHTS


Microbiome Affects Severity in Mouse Model of Malaria

Malaria is a serious global health hazard, with 214 million new cases worldwide in 2015 according to the World Health Organization. Infection by Plasmodium species can result in a range of disease severity, from asymptomatic infection through severe disease and death. A comparison between mouse models of malaria from competing vendors appears to have identified components of gut microbiota which may impact disease severity, including two genera...

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Gnotobiotic Mouse Technology: An Illustrated Guide (Book Review)

A recently published illustrated manual on gnotobiotic mouse technology could be a great help to developing common standards in the germ-free research community. Chriss J. Vowles, Natalie E. Anderson, and Kathryn A. Eaton of the University of Michigan have produced a thorough reference in Gnotobiotic Mouse Technology: An Illustrated Guide (CRC Press). The Guide features an overview of germ-free research history with sections on sterilization, testing, rederivation,...

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FAQ: Animal Models for Microbiome Research

The microbiome is emerging as an important factor in disease development, progression and prevention. Researchers are trying to harness the microbiome and its role in immune response for therapeutic purposes. Gnotobiotic and germ-free mice will play a pivotal role for researchers. To better serve the research community, it is critical for model vendors to test and report on more microbes of interest and make available a variety...

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Fourth Quarter Microbiome Conferences Roundup

Are you looking for a good scientific microbiome research symposium? Over the next three months, you have six exciting microbiome conferences from which to choose. Symposium Date Location World Congress on Targeting Microbiota 2016 10/17/16 to 10/19/16 Paris, France Gut Microbiome 2016 - An International Perspective 10/21/16 to 10/22/16 Manipal, India Advancing Microbiome Research Symposium: Microbiome & Disease 11/03/16 Potomac, MD International Human Microbiome Congress (IHMC) 11/9/16...

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Ensuring Sterile Feed for Germ-Free Mice

With the increase in institutions that are initiating microbiome studies comes an increase in demands for sterile support materials. Setting up and maintaining isolators to breed and perform studies with germ-free mice is a challenge. There are a number of ways that a biological contaminant can enter an isolator, but the highest risk of contamination may be from improperly sterilized feed. To help us understand better how...

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WHAT IS THE MICROBIOME?

The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms living in and on an organism, such as a human or mouse. Interest in the microbiome is increasing due to a clearer understanding of the its impact on a number of different physiological systems, as well as the realization that microbial communities can vary widely from person-to-person. Aleksandar D. Kostic et al. Genes Dev. 2013; 27:701-718. Copyright© 2013 by Cold...

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Do Some IBD Treatments Work by Altering the Gut Microbiota?

An IBD treatment targeting key cytokine components appears to alter the microbiome in mouse models of IBD. What's the connection? Cytokines have been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and modulation of cytokines is one therapeutic strategy. Ustekinumab, an antibody that targets IL-12p40 and a component of the cytokines IL-12 and IL-23, demonstrated clinical efficacy against Crohn's disease,...

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Does the Microbiome Affect Behavior in Germ-free Mice?

There is growing evidence that the microbiome, that collection of all the microorganisms which inhabit an individual, can affect cognition and behavior. This has been termed the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Germ-free mice are a critical tool in studies investigating this connection, and they have been shown to have alterations in behavior and cognition compared to conventional mice. Desbonnet et al. demonstrated that germ-free Swiss Webster mice exhibited social...

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Activated Soy Affects Weight Gain and Microbiome in Obese Mice

Researchers from the USDA, Tulane, LSU, and Microbiome Therapeutics have linked soy pod fiber to significantly reduced weight gain in obese mice. (Source: Obesity. 2016 Jan;24(1):87-95.) The study looked at activated soy pod fiber as a dietary intervention in mice fed an obesogenic diet. Two groups of male C57BL/6NTac mice were fed a purified diet similar to the "condensed milk" diet, with one group's diet altered to...

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Choosing a Health Standard for Your Model

Taconic produces rodent models at several different health standards. How do you know which health designation to choose when ordering animals? Taconic rodent models are available at multiple health standards, enabling researchers to choose the most appropriate model for their studies. These five health standards are defined by the progressive exclusion of foreign organisms. The general health standard for most immunocompetent models is Murine Pathogen Free™ (MPF™)....

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