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ILAR J. 2015;56(2):179-91. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ilv019.

Intestinal Microbiota in Animal Models of Inflammatory Diseases.

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Gabriele Hörmannsperger, PhD, is a molecular biologist researcher, Monika Schaubeck, MSc, is a PhD student, and Dirk Haller, PhD, is full professor and head of the Chair of Nutrition and Immunology at the Technische Universität München, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.

Erratum in


The intestinal microbiota has long been known to play an important role in the maintenance of health. In addition, alterations of the intestinal microbiota have recently been associated with a range of immune-mediated and metabolic disorders. Characterizing the composition and functionality of the intestinal microbiota, unravelling relevant microbe-host interactions, and identifying disease-relevant microbes are therefore currently of major interest in scientific and medical communities. Experimental animal models for the respective diseases of interest are pivotal in order to address functional questions on microbe-host interaction and to clarify the clinical relevance of microbiome alterations associated with disease initiation and development. This review presents an overview of the outcomes of highly sophisticated experimental studies on microbe-host interaction in animal models of inflammatory diseases, with a focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We will address the advantages and drawbacks of analyzing microbe-host interaction in complex colonized animal models compared with gnotobiotic animal models using monoassociation, simplified microbial consortia (SMC), or microbial humanization.


gnotobiology; humanization; inflammation; microbial consortia

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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