Studies on the Transmission of Relapsing Fever in North China

II. Observations on the Mechanism of Transmission of Relapsing Fever in Man

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  • Parasitic Diseases Laboratory and Division of Neurology and Psychiatry, Department of Medicine, Peiping Union Medical College, Peiping, China

Summary and Conclusions

  1. 1.Experiments concerning the mechanism of transmission in man of Chinese relapsing fever have been performed on 6 normal subjects and 4 patients with general paralysis of the insane.
  2. 2.The bites of lice infected with the Chinese strain of Borrelia recurrentis are not infective to man.
  3. 3.The feces of lice infected with Bor. recurrentis are not infectious to man.
  4. 4.Man contracts relapsing fever through crushing the infected lice on slightly traumatized skin such as that following louse bites and scratching, or through introducing the infective material to the conjunctivae with infected fingers.
  5. 5.On two occasions the dropping of large numbers of Bor. recurrentis onto the skin of a patient with general paralysis of the insane failed to produce relapsing fever.
  6. 6.Repeated attempts to produce relapsing fever by instilling large numbers of Bor. recurrentis onto the mucous membranes of the oral cavity failed.
  7. 7.The incubation period of relapsing fever in two patients was found to be 11 days for the cutaneous route and 8 days for the conjunctival route.

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