The genetically engineered rodent model provider has licensed the Wild Mouse gut microbiome from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Taconic Biosciences’ microbiome solutions portfolio also includes germ-free mice and custom microbiota associations.
Dr. Alex Maue, associate director of Taconic's microbiome products and services, said in a press release: “The Wild Mouse gut microbiota model will allow researchers to identify new host-microbe relationships as well as the potential for determining new disease protection mechanisms.”
According to the company – which was acquired by a private equity firm earlier this year – the gut microbiota can be maintained in a laboratory mouse breeding colony for immediate research or stored for future use.
‘Dirty mice’ better mirror humans
A study published in 2016 found that the lab mouse’s immune system differs from adult humans in “many and varied ways,” but the immune system of wild mice, pet store mice, and co-housed lab mice are much more suited as a model of immune characteristics in adult humans.
Stephen Jameson, PhD, co-senior author of the study, professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and member of the Center for Immunology, University of Minnesota, told us at the time that while lab mice are a better model for that of newborn humans, this is of “limited value for modeling immune responses for most of a human’s lifetime .”
Additionally, the researchers found that the changes in the immune system due to natural exposure to mouse microbes led to significant changes in the animal’s capacity to mount a new immune response.
“For example, when these mice were experimentally infected with bacteria, the animals raised in a more normal environment controlled the bacterial infection around 1000-times better than genetically identical animals that are raised in typical lab conditions,” said Jameson.