McMaster University

McMaster University

Farncombe Family Axenic-Gnotobiotic Facility

McMaster University is home to the Farncombe Family Axenic-Gnotobiotic Facility, Canada's only gnotobiotic research facility with axenic embryo transfer capabilities. This 3,000-square-foot laboratory provides a controlled, germ-free environment in which to study host-microbial interactions. In addition to generating and housing gnotobiotic animals on prescribed genetic backgrounds for internal and external clients, the Facility is unique in that it has the capacity and infrastructure to enable the performance of long-term experimentation under controlled environmental conditions in diverse areas of biomedical sciences.


Dr. Elena Verdu

We Can Help You

  • Purchase germ free mice
  • Re-derivate a mouse strain in germ-free conditions
  • Obtain tissues and ship to your facility


  • Sterility and a strictly controlled bacterial environment for the study of host-microbial interactions in the gut
  • Axenic (germ-free) mice which can be purchased from the Facility or housed in the Facility in germ-free status for a per diem rate
  • Where feasible, McMaster personnel may be contracted to conduct experiments and on-site analysis for a negotiated fee


  • Axenic (germ-free) mice obtained by two-stage embryo transfer (ET)
  • Axenic breeding for wild-type mouse inbred (e.g. BALB/c, C57BL/6) and outbred strains (e.g. NIH Swiss, Swiss Websters)
  • Breeding also available for some transgenic and knock out mouse strains
  • Facility equipped with 20 isolators of various sizes, 4 surgical units and several experimental units
  • Specific experimental facilities (e.g. animal behavior isolator) and a procedure room for ET
  • Level 2 biohazard housing and procedure area also available
  • Sterilization and storage systems on site for equipment and consumables (e.g. animal behavior isolator) and a procedure


Dr. Elena Verdu, Director
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 20051
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