Emory University Gnotobiotic Animal Facility

Introduction: The Emory University Gnotobiotic Animal Facility is located in the newly constructed five-story, 200,000-square-foot Health Sciences Research Building (HSRB), situated in rooms next to the Specific Pathogen Free (MPF) murine housing, as well as the Transgenic Mouse and Gene Targeting Core. The facility contains a number of 3’ foot wide rigid isolators (Parkbio), each with the capacity to house 16 mice cages each. Class II biological cabinets are available to investigators for experimental use. In addition, the facility has a Tecniplast ISOcageP Bioexclusion system. These are airtight individual mouse cages with high positive pressure that are specifically designed for cage-scale germ-free, gnotobiotic and bioexclusion studies.

 Animal welfare: The facility is run under Emory University’s IACUC approved Standard Operating Procedures which oversees and certifies that care and use of the animals is ethical and humane. The IACUC oversight is implemented by an ongoing review and approval of the facility by way of written animal use protocols submitted for review by IACUC committee members. Investigators wishing to use the facility will submit an amendment to their IACUC by attaching the SOP for the Gnotobiotic Animal Facility, and a description of the specific procedure they wish to undertake within the facility.

Murine strains bred and held within the facility: The facility currently has breeding colonies of germ-free C57BL/6J, and of with colonized with Altered Schaedler Flora (ASF) colonized C57BL/6J. Germ-free and ASF C57BL/6J mice are available for purchase from the facility.

Transferring new mouse strains into the facility: Currently, we accept re-derived germ-free mice from approved vendors. Mice must be shipped in approved transporters. Mice are transferred into newly set up isolators, and kept as the only genotype in said isolator for 4 weeks, and monitored weekly for germ-free status.

Transferring animals from the facility to laboratories within Emory University: Investigators will be responsible for transportation mice from the HSRB to other research buildings within Emory. Transport procedures are outlined in the IACUC website. Please contact the Gnotobiotic facility director or staff if you require further information regarding transport. 

Specialized diets: We have the capacity to rear mice on germ-free specialized diets including high fat diets or diets fortified with supplements. 

Microbiological Testing: Rigorous microbiological testing is conducted on all autoclaved material entering the isolators, including the food, water and bedding. We also regularly monitor germ-free mice within isolators and periodic control necropsies. Our tests include 1) real time quantitative PCR amplification of the V4 region 16S rRNA gene, 2) plating of fecal samples on BBL Brain Heart infusion with 10% Sheep Blood plates (nonselective controls for all strains) and incubation at 37ºC for 7 days, 3) Incubation in Thioglycollate medium with indicator, a medium used for the isolation and cultivation of aerobes, anaerobes and microaerophiles that are not excessively fastidious, and 4) Gram stain, which is a general visual examination for the presence of bacteria, and distinguishes between Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms.

Contact Information: For investigators wishing to employ the services, or wishing to acquire germ-free or ASF gnotobiotic mice, please contact the facility director, Dr Rheinallt Jones rjones5@emory.edu. In the email, please describe your purchase (germ-free or ASF, age etc.), or your gnotobiotic project requirements. Thereafter we will set a meeting with you to facilitate your request.  


Park Bioservices LLC, Flexible Front Isolators offer the highest level of biological security for germ-free housing of gnotobiotic mice.