Letter | Published:

Reaction of mouse strains to skin test for ectromelia using an allied virus as inoculum


ECTROMELIA, or ‘mouse pox’, is a highly infectious virus disease of mice which can be present as a subclinical enzootic or a clinically apparent epizootic condition. As a result of importation of infected mice, an outbreak of this disease occurred in research establishments in the London area during late 1973 and the early part of 1974. These mice showed immunological evidence of infection without overt signs of disease, and those in contact were affected by the acute form of the infection. Detection of the infection is usually effected by one of three methods: inoculation of suspect material on to the choriollantoic membrane of 10-d-old chick embryos, in which typical pocks lesions are produced 3 d later if virus is present; serologically, using haemagglutination test1; using the tail scarification test with vaccinia virus, a closely related pox virus, as inoculum.

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  1. 1

    Briody, B. A., Bact. Rev., 23, 61–95 (1959).

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