Considering the increasing list of diseases linked to the commensal microbiota, experimental studies of host–microbe interactions are of growing interest. Axenic and differently colonized animal models are inalienable tools to study these interactions. Factors, such as host genetics, diet, antibiotics and litter affect microbiota composition and can be confounding factors in many experimental settings. The use of gnotobiotic mice harboring defined microbiotas of different complexity plus additional housing standardization have thus become a gold standard to study the influence of the microbiome on the host.
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