Germ Free Laboratory

ULAM's Germ Free Laboratory (GFL) is dedicated to creating and maintaining mice for research purposes in a completely germ-free habitat. Mice are housed in soft-sided plastic isolators in which they remain free of all bacteria, exogenous virus, fungi and parasites. Created in 2002 by Dr. Kathryn Eaton, GFL provides researchers with an environment in which to house genetically fragile transgenic mouse strains and to allow researchers to carry out experiments with no competing background of microorganisms.

Germ free mice are appropriate for use in a number of experimental investigations including but not limited to:

  • Pathogenesis of infectious diseases
  • The role of microbiota in chronic disease (immune-mediated, genetic, neoplastic, etc.)
  • Physiology of the gutGerm-free table in lab
  • Mucosal immune system
  • Nutrition
  • Inflammation and sepsis
  • Oral tolerance and allergic responses
  • Probiotics
  • Ocular, dental and periodontal disease
  • Dermatitis
  • Gut ecology

In addition, germ free mice can be conventionalized with specific known microbiota as defined flora controls.

Mouse strains currently available in the University of Michigan Germ Free Laboratory include:

  • C57BL/6J
  • Swiss Webster
  • IL-10 KO (C57BL/6 background)
  • RAG KO (C57BL/6 background)

Other strains or mutants can be derived into germ free isolators: please inquire to

Germ-free table with translucent hood

The germ free laboratory colony has 4 large breeding isolators to maintain our strains. In addition, 12 experimental isolators and 7 class II biological cabinets available to our investigators on a first come, first served basis for experimental use.

Short-term experiments and experiments requiring complex manipulations can be performed in a class II biological cabinet upon approval by Dr. Kathryn Eaton

Germ-free setting with gloves, gown, and mask

Due to the complex nature of keeping animals and experiments germ free, ULAM’s germ free technicians perform all experiments for investigators.

All procedures being requested must be approved in the principal investigator's animal use protocol, and ULAM’s technicians must be listed as personnel. Services require advance notice and are recharged to investigators.

Contact Information

If you would like to request services in the ULAM germ free laboratory, complete the Germ Free Request Form and e-mail to

For further use and pricing information, contact 734-647-0731 or