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Possibilities of transmission and means of inoculation of murine leprosy in rats and other animals

Possibilities of transmission and means of inoculation of murine leprosy in rats and other animals

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 38(3): 321-351

The author reviews the routes of natural transmission of rat leprosy and the experimentally induced disease. Natural infection is the result of contact with an infected rat or via the gastro-intestinal route consequent upon the ingestion of infected tissue. Acid-fast bacilli were found in lice (Polyplax spinulosa) taken from rats dying of leprosy; but it was impossible to obtain cultures in Lowenstein medium from these lice. Five rats fed rat leprosy emulsion became infected. 100% infection resulted from subcut. and intraperit. inoculations. It is possible to infect Didelphis aurita by inoculation with infected rat material. These animals probably are more susceptible to rat leprosy than to human leprosy. Chicks can be infected by inoculation in chest muscle, intraperit. injn. and by the gastro-intestinal route. Pigeons also can be infected by chest muscle and intraven. inoculations.

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