Housing Gnotobiotic Mice in Conventional Animal Facilities

Máximo E Lange, Richard R E Uwiera, G Douglas Inglis
Current Protocols in Mouse Biology 2019 January 15, : e59
Gnotobiotic mice are an established, robust model utilized in current research to study host-microbiota interactions. For years isolators have been used to rear germ-free and gnotobiotic mice. However, isolators can be costly and the segregation of treatments within the same isolator is problematic. Recently, methodologies for housing germ-free mice in specially designed individually ventilated cages (IVCs) operated under barrier mode have been developed; however, this equipment is costly and its operation in barrier mode for research involving germ-free mice and pathogens is not permissible under modern biosafety and biosecurity regulations. This article describes a method to house germ-free mice in a commonly available conventional IVC system operated under containment mode. This technique allows researchers to maintain the germ-free or gnotobiotic status of mice tested up to 4 weeks with weekly handling while working with pathogens using each IVC as a separate experimental unit. © 2019 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada.

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