Procedures for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Murine Microbiome Studies

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021 Sep 21:11:711055. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2021.711055. eCollection 2021.


Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been widely recognized as an approach to determine the microbiome's causal role in gut dysbiosis-related disease models and as a novel disease-modifying therapy. Despite potential beneficial FMT results in various disease models, there is a variation and complexity in procedural agreement among research groups for performing FMT. The viability of the microbiome in feces and its successful transfer depends on various aspects of donors, recipients, and lab settings. This review focuses on the technical practices of FMT in animal studies. We first document crucial factors required for collecting, handling, and processing donor fecal microbiota for FMT. Then, we detail the description of gut microbiota depletion methods, FMT dosages, and routes of FMT administrations in recipients. In the end, we describe assessments of success rates of FMT with sustainability. It is critical to work under the anaerobic condition to preserve as much of the viability of bacteria. Utilization of germ- free mice or depletion of recipient gut microbiota by antibiotics or polyethylene glycol are two common recipient preparation approaches to achieve better engraftment. Oral-gastric gavage preferred by most researchers for fast and effective administration of FMT in mice. Overall, this review highlights various methods that may lead to developing the standard and reproducible protocol for FMT.

Keywords: engraftment; fecal microbiota transplantation; mice; microbiome; procedure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dysbiosis / therapy
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
  • Feces
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Mice
  • Microbiota*