Germ-free (GF) mice are laboratory animals that have no detected living organisms (including any microorganisms or parasites) internally or externally, based on the currently available detection methods. Compared to conventional SPF mice, GF mice require more rigorous microbial control of microorganisms, and the maintenance of GF mice is technically more challenging due to the requirements for specialized environment and equipment. In comparison to conventional SPF mice, GF mice exhibit notable physiological and morphological changes, such as an enlarged cecum, thinned intestinal musculature, shrunken liver and heart, weakened innate immune response, and high susceptibility to microbial infections.
With the growing interest into microbiome research in recent years, especially the rapid expansion of gut microbial research, GF mice are an increasingly important tool. GemPharmatech has developed advanced breeding systems for GF mice, in order to meet the needs of academic and industry researchers and supply GF mice in large quantities. In addition to conventional inbred and outbred GF strains, genetically modified strains, such as the immunodeficient NCG and NCG-X and B6-Il10 mouse model for inflammatory bowel disease are available.