Br J Exp Pathol, 1936;17:1-20.


1. A strain of the rural form of tropical typhus has been established and maintained in guinea-pigs, and is now in its 97th generation. The history and characteristics of this strain are given. The clinical criterion of infection is a well-marked febrile reaction. Scrotal swelling does not occur. Ascites invariably follows intra-peritoneal inoculation of passage virus.
2. In more than one hundred other such attempts made in this laboratory it has proved impossible to maintain a strain beyond a few generations. Similarly all attempts to maintain the virus of the tsutsugamushi disease in guinea-pigs have failed. The guinea-pig must, therefore, be regarded as very insusceptible to the viruses of the rural typhus and tsutsugamushi group of fevers of Malaya.
3. Infection of rabbits by the intra-ocular inoculation of the virus of rural typhus and of the tsutsugamushi disease has been readily secured. The method, based on that of Nagayo et al., and the criteria of infection, are described in detail.
4. The white rat is readily infected with the virus of rural typhus, the infection being of the "inapparente" form. That the virus could be maintained with unabated virulence for 21 generations indicates, by the criterion of Nicolle, that rural typhus is a murine strain.
5. Monkeys have been successfully infected by the intradermal route with the virus of rural typhus and of the tsutsugamushi disease. At the sites of inoculation, in the case of both viruses, necrotic ulcers have developed that appear to be identical with one another, and with the initial lesion of the tsutsugamushi disease in man; in all other features the experimental infections in the monkey appear to be identical. Rabbits have been similarly infected.
6. The results of the Weil-Felix reactions of sera from rabbits and monkeys convalescent from experimental infection with rural typhus and the tsutsugamushi disease are summarized.
7. Methods of demonstration of Rickettsia from infected guinea-pigs and rabbits are described. In morphology, distribution and staining characteristics the Rickettsia demonstrable in material from animals infected with rural typhus and with the tsutsugamushi disease are identical, and do not appear to differ from the Rickettsia orientalis of Nagayo.
8. The experimental data secured indicate that, provided that intra-ocular inoculation is practised, the rabbit is the laboratory animal of choice in the case of the rural typhus and tsutsugamushi group of fevers (it being assumed that
expense and scarcity make extensive use of monkeys impracticable). Further, these data stress the remarkable similarity of the behaviour of these two viruses in experimental laboratory animals-a similarity that, as will be set forth in a later paper, is fully supported by cross-immunity experiments.