Microbiome and Germ-Free INSIGHTS


Book Review: Gnotobiotics

Gnotobiotics, edited by Trenton Schoeb and Kathryn Eaton, is invaluable to those developing or managing gnotobiotic facilities. The book is part of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine Series, published by Elselvier, and covers a number of species including rodents, swine and fish. It is assembled from contributions by nineteen authors with firsthand experience managing gnotobiotic facilities. James Fox nicely captures the essence of this book...

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Moderate Exercise Has Limited but Distinguishable Effects on the Mouse Microbiome

Researchers have identified measurable effects of exercise on the gut microbiome in mice, according to a study published in mSystems. In "Moderate Exercise Has Limited but Distinguishable Effects on the Mouse Microbiome," researchers at Dalhousie University, Canada, compared gut microbial diversity and changes in exercise-associated inflammatory markers over an 8-week period in sedentary mice and mice that performed either voluntary or moderate forced exercise. They found levels...

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Seeing the Microbiome with Fresh Eyes

Anthony St. Leger and colleagues from the National Eye Institute at the National Institute of Health (NIH) recently published evidence that the ocular microbiome plays an important immunological role1. The Ocular Microbiome The surface of the human body is colonized by a diverse community of microorganisms, and the eye is no exception. Yet the ocular surface contains relatively few bacteria, approximately 150-fold fewer than the mouth2. Many...

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TH17-Inducing Gut Bacteria Can Promote Autism-like Behavior in Mouse Pups

Segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) in the terminal ileum of an 8-week-old Taconic B6 mouse On September 13, 2017 researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Massachusetts Medical School simultaneously published papers in Nature on the same intriguing topic: a link between autism and infection during pregnancy. Previous epidemiological studies have shown an association between hospitalization during pregnancy due to severe infection and the...

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Remember to ARRIVE

In 2010 the ARRIVE (Animals in Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines1 were proposed to address several reproducibility issues with in vivo animal model studies: Only 59% of 271 biomedical studies using rats, mice, or non-human primates that were assessed stated the hypothesis or objective of the study and the number and characteristics of the animals used (i.e., species, strain, sex, age, weight). 87% did not report...

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LEM1 C. difficile Strain Prevents Pathogenic Infection

Researchers at Georgia State University made a surprising discovery1 while establishing a mouse model of C. difficile infection: a novel, endogenous strain of the bacteria which blooms after antibiotic therapy and protects its host from disease. This could potentially confound experimental results, as the LEM1 strain is inconsistently present among mouse model vendors. C. difficile Genes Appearing Prior to Infection To establish their model, the researchers treated...

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Baby Formula Feeding and the Infant Microbiome

Breastfeeding versus formula feeding of infants can be a controversial subject. Those who believe the "breast is best" may be interested in a new study which reports that components in infant formula modify the establishment of a baby's gut microbiota. How Formula Affects the Infant Microbiome Earlier research has shown that gut microbiome varies between formula-fed and breast-fed infants. Now, researchers from the Technical University of Denmark...

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Are Dirty Mice Superior Immunology Models?

In a recent review article, David Masopust and his coauthors from the University of Minnesota Medical School discuss the relevancy of mouse models for use in immunological studies and translatability of immune system studies using SPF mice. Of Mice, Dirty Mice, and Men: Using Mice to Understand Human Immunology1 provides a short introduction to the development of the laboratory mouse while calling out a number of significant...

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2017 Microbiome in Mouse Models Workshop Review — Best Practices

Part III: Best Practices for Study Design This is the third of a three-part recap of Navigating the Challenges of Studying the Microbiome in Mouse Models: Design, Execution and Utility, a sponsored workshop at the 2017 Translational Microbiome Conference. Part I: Participants and Presentations Part II: Microbiome Workshop Topics Part III: Best Practices for Study Design In this Insight, we will summarize the main findings of workshop...

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2017 Microbiome in Mouse Models Workshop Review — Key Topics

Part II: Microbiome Workshop Topics This is the second of a three-part recap of Navigating the Challenges of Studying the Microbiome in Mouse Models: Design, Execution and Utility, a sponsored workshop at the 2017 Translational Microbiome Conference. Part I: Participants and Presentations Part II: Microbiome Workshop Topics Part III: Best Practices for Study Design In this Insight, we recap workshop topics and discussions relating to the use...

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