Of mice and microflora: Considerations for genetically engineered mice

P. M. Treuting, C. B. Clifford, R. S. Sellers, C. F. Brayton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The phenotype of genetically engineered mice is a combination of both genetic and environmental factors that include the microflora of the mouse. The impact a particular microbe has on a mouse reflects the host-microbe interaction within the context of the mouse genotype and environment. Although often considered a confounding variable, many host-microbe interactions have resulted in the generation of novel model systems and characterization of new microbial agents. Microbes associated with overt disease in mice have been the historical focus of the laboratory animal medical and pathology community and literature. The advent of genetic engineering and the complex of mouse models have revealed previously unknown or disregarded agents that now oblige the attention of the biomedical research community. The purpose of this article is to describe and illustrate how phenotypes can be affected by microflora by focusing on the infectious diseases present in genetically engineered mouse (GEM) colonies of our collective institutions and by reviewing important agents that are rarely seen in most research facilities today. The goal is to introduce the concept of the role of microflora on phenotypes and in translational research using GEM models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-63
Number of pages20
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • animal
  • animals
  • bacterial infections and mycoses
  • genetically modified
  • infectious disease
  • mice
  • models
  • parasitic diseases
  • pathology
  • review
  • specific pathogen free
  • transgenic
  • viral diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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