Denoting germ-free or formerly germ-free organisms in which the composition of any associated microbial flora, if present, is fully defined.
Origin: see gnotobiota
gnotobiotic animals (also ‘gnotobiote’ or ‘gnotobiont’) are born in aseptic conditions, removed from the mother by Caesarean section. They are reared in the laboratory, exposed only to those microorganisms that the researchers wish to be present in the animal. They are used in research into the symbiotic Relationship between an animal and the microorganisms that inhabit its body, sometimes called its ‘ecoorgan’.