Established in 2018, the state-of-the-art germ-free (GF) facility at House of BioHealth was built under a collaboration agreement between the University of Luxembourg and the LIH, with a 50% contribution from the Eco-Immunology and Microbiome Group. The facility houses up to 1000 adult mice with two individually ventilated cage (IVC) racks (96 cage capacity), 3 double-tier isolators (72 cage capacity) and a breeding isolator (32 cage capacity). To maintain germ-free conditions and safeguard animal welfare, our research is conducted under a strict level of sterility. Mice are housed in sterile or single colonization state isolators or iso-cages and all operations are conducted under specific opportunistic pathogen free (SOPF) conditions. Operators don two layers of sterile gowning, respirators, and two sets of nitrile gloves, followed by a 60 second air-shower to enter and work in the facility. All materials entering the facility are autoclaved or chemically decontaminated. Transfer of mice or other materials in or out of isolators occurs through transfer sleeves or airlocks using 20’-30’ droplet (7.4% hydrogen peroxide + 1500-2500 ppm peracetic acid) decontamination between each transfer. Our group has two dedicated technicians (Alessandro De Sciscio and Stéphanie Willieme) who help to manage the GF operations.
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