The Use Of Gnotobiotic Animals In Studies Of The Gastrointestinal Microbiota In Farm Animals

Gnotobiotic animals proved to be a very useful model for studying the physiology of the digestive tract. They mainly enable observation of the role of microorganisms in the process of the functional and morphological development of the digestive tract and the investigation of bacterial interactions and their influence on the macroorganism. A key experimental strategy for defining the conversations that occur between microorganisms and their hosts is to first define cellular function in the absence of bacteria (under germ-free conditions) and then to evaluate the effects of adding a single or defined population of microbes. The power of germ-technology lies in the ability to control the composition of the environment in which a multicellular organism develops and functions. The combined use of genetically manipulatable model organisms and gnotobiotic has the potential to provide new and important information about how bacteria affect normal development, establishment and maintenance of the mucosa-associated immune system, and epithelial cell functions. Gnotobiology can help to provide new insights into the aetiology of infectious diseases. The combination of gnotobiotics and molecular genetics should provide a deeper understanding of how pathogens arise, how they gain control of their habitat, and what contributions are made by the "normal" gut inhabitants to the pathogenesis of diseases. Such understanding, in turn, could lead to the development of novel chemicals and microbes for use in prebiotic and probiotic strategies in order to prevent or cure infectious diseases and perhaps also immune disorders. For a more extensive review on research with germ-free and gnotobiotic animals, see the chapter by Norin and Midtvedt.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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