Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Impact of cool temperatures on transformation of human and armadillo lymphocytes (Dasypus novemcinctus, Linn.) as related to leprosy


A CENTURY-LONG search for an unaltered animal in which to study leprosy in humans culminated in the finding that the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus, Linn.), a primitive mammal native to the southern Western Hemisphere, develops disseminated lepromatous leprosy following inoculation with Mycobacterium leprae isolated from human tissue1–3. Previous animals only developed leprosy following inoculation with leprosy bacilli after having been immunologically suppressed by neonatal thymectomy with or without irradiation of bone marrow4–8. Yet curiously the leprosy lesions occurred chiefly on the cooler tissues, the footpads.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Storrs, E. E., Int. J. Leprosy, 39, 703 (1971).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Kirchheimer, W. E., and Storrs, E. E., Int. J. Leprosy., 39, 693 (1971).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Kirchheimer, W. E., Storrs, E. E., and Binford, C. H., Int. J. Leprosy, 39, 229 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Rees, R. J. W., and Waters, M. F. R., Japan–US Cooperative Medical Science Program Leprosy and Tuberculosis Conference (Tokyo 1966).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Rees, R. J. W., Waters, M. F. R., Wedell, A. G. M., and Palmer, E., Nature, 215, 597 (1967).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Shepard, C. C., J. exp. Med., 112, 445 (1960).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. Shepard, C. C., J. Bact., 90, 1271 (1965).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  8. Binford, C. H., Walsh, G. P., and Theo-Cheung, J. L., Sixth Joint Leprosy Research Conference (US–Japan Cooperative Medical Science Program, Bethesda, Maryland, 1971).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Binford, C. H., US Public Health Service, Report No. 71, 995 (1956).

  10. Brand, R. W., Int. J. Leprosy, 27, 1 (1959).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Purtilo, D. T., Hallgren, H. M., and Yunis, E. J., Lancet, i, 769 (1972).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Turk, J. L., Bull. WHO, 41, 779 (1967).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Samuel, D. R., Godal, S. T., Myrvang, B., and Song, Y. K., Infect. Immun., 8, 446 (1973).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

PURTILO, D., WALSH, G., STORRS, E. et al. Impact of cool temperatures on transformation of human and armadillo lymphocytes (Dasypus novemcinctus, Linn.) as related to leprosy. Nature 248, 450–452 (1974).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing