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Congentalk: LIFE IN A BUBBLE: THE AXENIC/GNOTOBIOLOGY SERVICE AT IGC
Speaker: Joana Bom, Axenic/Gnotobiology and Mouse Facility Manager at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência.

The gnotobiology research has exponentially grown in the last few years due to the important role of host–microbiota interactions in the study of several metabolic and autoimmune diseases. The use of axenic mice, which are rendered free of microorganisms, is a straightforward approach to investigate the overall contribution of the microbiota in such interactions.
In 2005, the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) developed a dedicated platform for axenization of different mouse strains reared, maintained, and manipulated in multi-cage isolators. This Axenic Facility is highly well established, with an annual capacity of 400 axenic mice being produced for internal requests and for the international community, in the frame of the INFRAFRONTIER-EMMA EU consortium.
In 2013, the increased demand of gnotobiology experiments led us to develop a Gnotobiology Facility equipped with racks of Individually Ventilated Cages (IVC) under positive pressure, namely the ISOcage P system. This system is designed to achieve the technical features of an isolator, allying the ergonomic, flexibility and density advantages of an IVC. Currently, the Gnotobiology Facility hosts all experiments performed in axenic mice, set in a room accessible to trained researchers, while the Axenic Facility is exclusively dedicated to the production of axenic mice, and axenization of new strains, in a room only accessible by the facility personnel.
Since its implementation, more than 250 different gnotobiology experiments were performed in the facility, with animals being submitted to various procedures, from gavage and regular feces collection to sophisticated surgeries.
Few institutions have such Facilities and it is important to spread the information about the existence of this infrastructure in Portugal, open to all the scientific Portuguese and international community.

Nov 25, 2021 12:00 PM in Lisbon

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