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Medical News
October 19, 1964

Animal Studies Help Evaluate Role of Normal Intestinal Flora

JAMA. 1964;190(3):39. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070160097047

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One important result of germ-free animal studies has been their aid in revealing and analyzing the mechanisms by which the indigenous flora contributes to the maintenance of normal life, a member of the Rockefeller Institute told investigators and physicians attending the 15th annual meeting of the Animal Care Panel in New York.

Rene Dubos, PhD, professor of the Institute, New York, and winner of the 1964 AMA Scientific Achievement Award, spoke at the Griffin Award banquet. "Recent establishment of the fact that animals are dependent on microorganisms—both autochthonous and normal flora—in the mouth, stomach, and various parts of the intestinal tract, should be of importance to investigators producing animals for laboratory work," he said.

Man and animals have evolved in close association with microbial flora, he said. Thus they have become dependent on certain components of this flora.

"Since we have learned from our studies with a colony of mice

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