Germ-Free Mice

Picture of a Germ-Free Mouse in a Gnotobiotic IsolatorTaconic Biosciences is the only commercial provider of germ-free mice, a world leader in germ-free husbandry, and has produced germ-free rodent models since 1961.

Taconic offers three key models as off-the-shelf germ-free mice for immediate delivery in typical study sizes. Germ-free mice are devoid of all microorganisms (as determined within the limitations of the detection methods available), including bacteria, fungi and viruses; they have no microbiome. Strict Taconic husbandry and testing programs ensure that these mice remain germ-free; to assure preservation of the Germ Free health standard of your animals during shipping, Taconic has designed and constructed a unique container system, the germ-free shipper.
“Seres relies on Taconic's germ-free mice to study the microbiome and our drug candidates”


Germ-free mice may be maintained as germ-free long-term or they may be associated with a custom microbiota. Taconic provides custom association services using customer-provided materials.

Taconic's inbred C57BL/6NTac and BALB/cAnNTac mice and outbred Swiss Webster mice are immediately available from our commercial production colonies at the Germ Free (GF) health standard. Additional germ-free models are in development.

Germ Free C57BL/6 (Black 6)

Taconic is the only commercial provider of germ-free C57BL/6 mice.

Strain snapshot:

  • C57BL/6, also called Black 6 or B6, is the most commonly used inbred strain. It is the preferred background strain for most genetically engineered mouse models.
  • B6 is a versatile mouse strain. It is the preferred strain for diet-induced obesity studies. It is used in a number of autoimmune disease models, including experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model. For oncology, B6 has been used in syngeneic tumor models. It is also used in addiction, behavior, toxicology and many other research areas.
  • The Taconic B6, C57BL/6NTac, is the substrain from which most B6 embryonic stem (ES) cells have been derived. The KOMP and MPC programs use C57BL/6NTac-derived ES cells.
  • Immunology: Th1-biased
  • More information and pricing is available on the Black 6 page.
Availability: Germ Free Black 6 mice are available for immediate delivery. Study cohorts available of 100+.

Germ Free BALB/c

Taconic is the only commercial provider of germ-free BALB/c mice.

Strain snapshot:

  • BALB/c is a commonly used, general purpose inbred strain with good reproductive performance.
  • BALB/c is widely used for immunology studies. It displays good antibody production and is often used for vaccine studies and production of monoclonal antibodies. BALB/c is widely used for syngeneic tumor model studies as well as in asthma and allergy studies.
  • Immunology: Th2-biased
  • More information and pricing is available on the BALB/c page.
Availability: Germ Free BALB/c mice are available in small cohort quantities.

Germ Free Swiss Webster

Taconic is the only commercial provider of germ-free Swiss Webster mice.

Strain snapshot:

  • Swiss Webster is a general purpose outbred strain with excellent reproductive performance.
  • Extensively used for decades as an all-purpose stock for research and drug safety testing. Swiss Webster is also commonly used for gnotobiotic support. GF Swiss Webster mice are excellent embryo recipients or foster mothers.
  • More information and pricing is available on the Swiss Webster page.
Availability: Germ Free Swiss Webster mice are available for immediate delivery. Study cohorts available of 50+.
Watch the following Taconic video "Flexible Film Isolator Demonstration" to see a detailed demonstration on how to work with a germ-free isolator and pack a germ-free shipper. Step-by-step unpacking instructions for the germ-free shipper can be found on our animal shipping products page.