The Microbiome of Research Animals - Implications for reproducibility, translatability, and discovery


March 21, 3:30 CET


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Dr. Aaron Ericsson, DVM, PhD

Director, University of Missouri Metagenomics Center (MUMC)

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri


The human gut microbiota (GM) has emerged as a key factor in susceptibility to, as well as a potential biomarker of, several diseases and conditions. Similarly, researchers now appreciate that the GM of laboratory animals could affect the reproducibility and translatability of many disease models, including a complete loss of phenotype. While associations between characteristics of the GM and differential disease model phenotypes are of concern, they can also be viewed as sources of discovery related to disease pathogenesis. As such, there is considerable interest in factors that inadvertently influence the composition of the GM and methods of manipulating the GM prospectively to investigate such associations and standardize or optimize disease models. The webinar will present data on variables capable of influencing the GM of laboratory rodents citing several examples and animal models, considerations related to manipulation of the GM in mice and rats, and recent data supporting the use of “dirty” mice in biomedical research.