LYMPHOCYTIC CHORIOMENINGITIS IN THE SYRIAN HAMSTER

Abstract

The Syrian hamster (Crlcetus auratus) has been shown to be highly'susceptible to St. Louis (1, 2) and to Japanese (2) encephalitis. Since this animal is now readily available in the United States for laboratory work, it seemed desirable to test its response to other infectious agents. Our own preliminary observations, like those of Kreis (3), indicated that the virus of lymphocytic choriomeningitis could be recovered from inoculated Syrian hamsters although it caused no apparent clinical disease in them. The intense but silent infection which was subsequently found to occur under these conditions provided an opportunity to study the immunological and pathological response of an apparently healthy host that carried large amounts of virus. The importance of this type of silent infection as a reservoir for the spread of diseases as diverse as lymphocytic choriomeningitis (4, 5), yellow fever (6), psittacosis (7), rabies (8), pseudorabies (9), Russian encephalitis (10), Q fever (11, 12), and sylvatic plague (13) has been pointed out by workers in these fields and discussed by Andrewes (14) and by Meyer (15). The inapparent infection of hamster

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