Department of Veterinary Pathobiology

Aaron Ericsson
Assistant Professor
Director, University of Missouri Metagenomics Center
Co-I, MU Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Center
Co-I, Rat Resource and Research Center

  • DVM, University of Missouri
  • Residency (Laboratory Animal Medicine), MU Comparative Medicine Program
  • PhD (Area Pathobiology), University of Missouri

Building Address: SS123B Discovery Ridge, 4011 Discovery Dr., Columbia, MO 65201
Phone Number: 573-882-1019

Research Emphasis: Research funded by the MMRRC and RRRC focuses on differences in the composition of the gut microbiota in inbred strains and outbred stocks of mice and rats, factors that drive those differences, and the impact of the resulting enterotypes on rodent models of disease, particularly models of colitis and colitis-associated colorectal cancer.  Using rederivation via embryo transfer and fecal microbiota transfer, we modulate the gut microbiota at birth or later in life respectively, to investigate windows of vulnerability for modulation of the gut microbiota, and sequencing platforms are used to characterize the gut microbiota.  Past and ongoing projects have focused on the IL-10 knockout mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease, the Pirc (Apc mutant) rat model of colorectal cancer (CRC), the Smad3 knockout mouse model of colitis-associated CRC, DSS-induced colitis, and the NOD mouse model of diabetes.

aWe’re also interested in both directions of the host:microbiota relationship, with ongoing studies investigating the mechanisms through which certain microbes, such as segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB; see image) and other mucosa-adherent microbes known as exoelectrogens affect the ontogeny of the host immune system.  Exoelectrogens are taxa capable of utilizing non-oxygen alternatives, such as sulfated mucins in the GI tract, as terminal electron acceptors.  Ongoing studies in our lab investigate the influence of exoelectrogenic bacteria on development of gut-associated lymphoid tissue during early life, and subsequent susceptibility to immune-mediated diseases and conditions.

Similarly, studies examining the influence of the gut microbiota on neural development and adult behavior are building on previous work performed in zebrafish, documenting the protection from stress-induced dysbiosis and anxiolytic effects of certain probiotic species of Lactobacillus. In these studies, we expand these findings to a mouse model, and investigate the influence of maternal stress during pregnancy on neurodevelopment in the offspring and CNS production of key branchpoint enzymes in the kynurenine pathway.

Lastly, we collaborate heavily with clinical veterinarians to characterize the gut, respiratory, and dermal microbiota of dogs, cats, horses, cattle, and myriad other species, and examine associations between characteristics of the microbiota that differ between healthy or unaffected individuals and those affected with various conditions. In particular, one series of studies has focused heavily on the respiratory microbiota in cats and dogs during health and disease, while another ongoing project in collaboration with clinicians at several other Veterinary Teaching Hospitals is focused on microbial prognostic indicators in the feces of horses experiencing colic.

Teaching Responsibilities:
Grant- and manuscript-writing
Veterinary Immunology II
Comparative Medicine Program faculty

Selected Publications:

  1. Bains, M., Laney, C., Waschek, J.A., Ericsson, A.C., and G.P. Dorsam. (2019) Vasoactive intestinal peptide deficiency is associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis in male and female C57BL/6 mice. Frontiers in Microbiology (in press)
  2. Ericsson, A.C., Personett, A.R., Rindt, H., Grobman, M.E., and C.R. Reinero. (2019) Respiratory dysbiosis and population-wide temporal dynamics in canine chronic bronchitis and non-inflammatory respiratory disease. PLoS One (in press)
  3. Ludwick, D.C., Meihls, L.N., Ericsson, A.C., Gregory, M.L.J., Coudron, T.A., Hibbard, B.E., and K.S. Shelby. (2019) Survey of bacteria associated with all western corn rootworm life stages reveals no difference between insects reared on different soils. Scientific Reports, 9:15332 PMC6814711
  4. Vientós-Plotts, A.I., Ericsson, A.C., Reinero, C., and H. Rindt. (2019) Respiratory dysbiosis in canine bacterial pneumonia: standard culture versus microbiome sequencing. Frontiers Veterinary Science, 6:534 PMC6798064
  5. Moore, S.G., Ericsson, A.C., Behura, S.K., Lamberson, W.R., Evans, T.J., McCabe, M.S., Poock, S.E., and M.C. Lucy. (2019) Concurrent and long-term effects of the endometrial microbiota on the endometrial transcriptome in postpartum dairy cows. BMC Genomics, 20:405 PMC6532207
  6. Zhang, C., Yang, M., and A.C. Ericsson. (2019) Antimicrobial peptides: potential application in liver cancer. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10:1257 PMC6560174
  7. Smith, B.J., Miller, R.A., Ericsson, A.C., Harrison, D.E., Strong, R., and T.M. Schmidt. (2019) Changes in the gut microbiota and fermentation products associated with enhanced longevity in acarbose-treated mice. BMC Microbiology, 19(1):130 PMC6567620
  8. Banks, K.C., Ericsson, A.C., Reinero, C.R., and E.A. Giuliano. (2019) Veterinary ocular microbiome: lessons learned beyond the culture. Veterinary Ophthalmology, May 9 (PMID: 31070001)
  9. Ericsson, A.C. (2019) The use of non-rodent model species in microbiota studies. Laboratory Animals (PMID: 31096881)
  10. Bidot, W.A., Ericsson, A.C., and C.L. Franklin. (2018) Effects of water decontamination methods and bedding material on the gut microbiota. PLoS One, 13(10): e0198305. PMC6201873
  11. Haney, M.M., Ericsson, A.C., and T.E. Lever. (2018) Effects of brief intraoperative vagal nerve stimulation on the gut microbiome in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mouse model. Comparative Medicine (in press) PMC6310200
  12. Hart, M.L., Ericsson, A.C., Lloyd, K.C., Grimsrud, K.N., Rogala, A.R., Godfrey, V.L., Nielsen, J.N., and C.L. Franklin. (2018) Development of outbred CD1 mouse colonies with distinct standardized gut microbiota profiles for use in complex microbiota targeted studies. Scientific Reports, 8:10107. PMC6031694
  13. Montonye, D.R., Ericsson, A.C., and C.L. Franklin. (2018) Acclimation and institutionalization of the mouse microbiota following transportation. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9:1085. PMC5985407
  14. Miller, C., Abdo, Z., Ericsson, A.C., Elder, J., and S. VandeWoude. (2018) Applications of the FIV model to study HIV pathogenesis. Viruses, 10(4). PMC5923500
  15. Seamons, A., Treuting, P.M., Meeker, S., Hsu, C., Paik, J., Brabb, T., Escobar, S., Alexander, J.S., Ericsson, A.C., Smith, J., and L. Maggio-Price. (2018) Obstructive lymphangitis precedes colitis in murine norovirus infected Stat1-deficient mice. American Journal of Pathology, 188(7):1536. PMC6109697
  16. Ericsson, A.C., Gagliardi, J., Bouhan, D., Spollen, W.G., and C.L. Franklin. (2018) The influence of caging, bedding, and diet on the composition of the microbiota in different regions of the mouse gut. Scientific Reports, 8:4065. PMC5840362
  17. Johnson, P.J., Hargreaves, L. Zobrist, C., and A.C. Ericsson. (2018) Utility of a portable desiccant system for preservation of fecal samples for downstream 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 146:1-6. PMC29355576



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