The presence of a complex and diverse intestinal flora is functionally important for regulating intestinal mucosal immune responses. However, the extent to which a balanced intestinal flora regulates systemic immune responses is still being defined. In order to specifically examine whether the acquisition of a less complex flora influences responses to immunization in the pre-weaning stages of life, we utilize a model in which infant mice acquire an intestinal flora from their mothers that has been altered by broad-spectrum antibiotics. In this model, pregnant dams are treated with a cocktail of antibiotics that alters both the density and microbial diversity of the intestinal flora.
PubMed Medical Journal on Importance of Gutt Flora and Immunity