EMMA axenic (germ-free) service

Service offered

EMMA will transfer 2 litters from parents of a given genotype into a germ-free environment. The service includes maintenance of the progeny until 6 weeks of age. Confirmation of sterility is performed inside each isolator every other week, on the surrogate mother upon adoption and on the newly transferred animals after weaning.

Live mice, tissue or fluids from animals introduced and/or produced in germ-free conditions will be sent upon request. The host institution also encourages investigators to consider on site analysis.


This service is funded by the European Commission's FP7 Capacities Specific Programme and is free of charge. However, the costs of mouse transportation to and from the EMMA facilities have to be covered by the customers.

Further germ-free services including additional production, housing and experimentation can be arranged with the collaborating institute on a cost recovery basis.


Customers need to provide a minimum of 6 females and 3 males of breeding age, ideally of SPF status. We also encourage sending frozen embryos (100-150) of proven quality.


Scientists wishing to take advantage of this service must complete an EMMA axenic service request form. After submission, the form will be sent to the EMMA evaluation committee. The evaluation committee will review the application within 30 days of its arrival. Upon approval, requests will be handled on a 'first come, first served' basis. According to the health status of the parents and their breeding performance, 6 week-old germ-free animals will be available 4 to 8 months after receipt of the parental mice or frozen embryos. Whenever the parental mice are not strictly SPF, embryo transfer of the parental lines to SPF, prior to transfer into germ-free isolators, will be performed by the collaborating institution.


The EMMA germ-free service is not restricted to strains that are archived with EMMA and EMMA does not require germ-free strains to be made publicly available.


Additional arrangements for breeding inside or outside of the germ-free facility, transfer of additional litters, prolonged housing and/or experimentation should be negotiated separately with the Gulbenkian Institute providing this service (EMMA Portugal, IGC, Portugal).


To apply for the EMMA axenic service please complete the EMMA axenic service request form.