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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;415:321-36. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-570-1_19.

Axenic mice model.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


The interaction of an organism with surrounding microbial communities has a profound impact on its anatomy, physiology, and behavior. The innate immune system plays a major role in the crosstalk between bacteria and the hosts they colonize. Axenic mice provide a powerful in vivo controlled model to decipher the particular interactions between the host and one defined strain, or group of strains, isolated from the "noise" of the rest of the flora. This chapter briefly reviews the specificities of axenic mice and describes the main guidelines to derive, house, and work with axenic mice.

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