ArticlesScientific Apparatus and Laboratory Methods

THE GOLDEN HAMSTER (CRICETUS AURATUS) AS A TEST ANIMAL FOR THE DIAGNOSIS OF LEPTOSPIROSIS

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Science  11 Aug 1944:
Vol. 100, Issue 2589, pp. 133-134
DOI: 10.1126/science.100.2589.133

Abstract

There is evidence that the golden hamster (Cricetus auratus) is the animal of choice for the isolation of leptospirae, especially of the Leptospira canicola type since young guinea pigs and mice are resistant to infection and rats are entirely refractory. Both the classical strain, L. icterohaemorrhagiae and L. canicola on isolation have been found to produce a fatal infection in hamsters.

The present report deals with the isolation of L. canicola in two instances by the injection intraperitoneally into hamsters of urine obtained from dogs ill with suspected leptospirosis. Each of the dogs was apparently the source of infection for a human case of Canicola leptospirosis.

The classical strain L. icterohaemorrhagiae was isolated from the dog for the first time in the United States. In this instance the organism was isolated by injecting both whole blood and urine from the patient intraperitoneally into young hamsters.

The injection into hamsters of suitable material from patients infected with L. canicola and L. icterohaemorrhagiae is followed by a fatal leptospirosis in the test animal.