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Lack of serological evidence for venereal spirochetosis in wild victorian rabbits and the susceptibility of laboratory rabbits to treponema paraluis cuniculi

, : Lack of serological evidence for venereal spirochetosis in wild victorian rabbits and the susceptibility of laboratory rabbits to treponema paraluis cuniculi. British Journal of Venereal Diseases 56(6): 381-386

Sera from 608 wild rabbits were examined using serological tests for syphilis as an indicator of infection with T. paraluis-cuniculi. Only 8 sera gave positive or weakly positive results in the rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test and none of these 8 sera gave positive results in the T. pallidum Hemagglutination assay (TPHA). Thus, it appears that wild rabbit populations in Victoria, Australia, are not naturally infected with T. paraluis-cuniculi. Normal Australian laboratory rabbits were readily infected with T. paraluis-cuniculi either by intradermal or intratesticular inoculation or by the venereal route. In the latter case, treponeme-containing lesions developed after about 5 mo. cohabitation with infected mates. The disease was successfully transmitted from male to female and from female to male rabbits by the venereal route. In most cases infected rabbits became RPR-positive (17/19 rabbits) and in all cases TPHA-positive (19/19), indicating that serological tests for syphilis can be used to screen rabbits for this disease.


PMID: 6893808

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