Co-housing of Mice Leads to Compositional Homogenization of Microbiota Between 7 and 21 Days
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The mammalian gut is home to trillions of bacteria, known as the microbiome, which play an important role in health immune response (Antonopoulos et al., 2009). Usually, these microbes are beneficial to the host, increasing digestion and assisting metabolism (Kamada et al). However, if certain strains of bacteria exist in higher than usual concentration in the microbiome they can contribute to diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (Wang et al., 2014). There are several factors that can influence the composition of the microbiome, including the genetics of the host organism (Benson et al., 2010). This study sought to determine the efficiency of co-housing two different strains of mice as a method to homogenize these compositions, as this is important for the study of mouse models in relation to human disease. It was hypothesized that after roughly two weeks mice from Jackson Farms would acquire the microbiome of mice from Taconic Farms.