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The gut microbiota of wild rodents: Challenges and opportunities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-258
Number of pages7
JournalLaboratory Animals
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jul 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Jun 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2019


The gut microbiota can have important, wide-ranging effects on its host. To date, laboratory animals, particularly mice, have been the major study system for microbiota research. It is now becoming increasingly clear that laboratory animals often poorly model aspects of the biology of wild animals, and this concern extends to the study of the gut microbiota. Here, the relatively few studies of the microbiota of wild rodents are reviewed, including a critical assessment of how the gut microbiota differs between laboratory and wild rodents. Finally, the many potential advantages and opportunities of wild-animal systems for research into the gut microbiota are considered.

    Research areas

  • microbiota, model, rodent



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