Failure to Establish the Virus of Endemic Typhus in Rats by Feeding Them Infected Guinea Pig Tissue

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  • Department of Bacteriology, Hygiene, and Preventive Medicine, Baylor University College of Medicine, Dallas, Texas

That rats are cannabalistic, and that in certain diseases to which they are susceptible they may be infected per os, suggests the possibility that endemic typhus might be transmitted from rat to rat by one animal eating another. The proof or disproof of such a possibility, it seems, would add something to our information concerning not only the maintenance of the disease in the animal reservoir but in addition it might also be of value to the sort of experimental work wherein the possibility of per os infection might be an active factor.

To test this possibility a number of albino rats were fed one fresh tunica vaginalis each, these tunics being stripped from guinea pig testicles at the height of the reaction to passage virus and fed directly to the test animals.

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