Animal Modeling of Disease States with a Microbiome Component

Presented By: 
Caitlin Parello
Benjamin Cuiffo

Overview: Imbalances in the intestinal microbial community (dysbiosis) caused by disease or therapy-induced toxicities have been linked to the pathogenesis of a number of disease states. These include auto-inflammatory and auto-immune diseases, such as IBD and RA, and metabolic disorders such as obesity; however, dysbiosis has also been implicated in the therapeutic efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors for many cancers. A possible explanation for these findings may be associated with differences in resident gut flora (notably Clostridiaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Provotellaceae, Lactobacillaceae, and Bifidobacteriaceae families) that have been reported between animals sourced from different vendors.


A number of experimental approaches can be taken when probing disease models with a microbiome component. These include comparing disease penetrance and/or test-article therapeutic efficacy in animals sourced from multiple vendors, pre-treatment of animals with antibiotics prior to introduction of novel fecal microbial transplants and/or bacterial compositions, or the use of germ-free and gnotobiotic mice, housed in germ-free isolators. As germ-free mice lack a competing endogenous gut microbiome, they allow for a “blank-slate” when studying the role of the microbiome in disease models, and can be used both to control the intestinal microbiome between experiments and to model disease states with potential roles for the microbiome. This webinar will describe Biomodels’ capabilities in design and execution of translational preclinical efficacy studies for novel microbiome-modulating treatment modalities toward a variety of disease states.

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