July 5, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(1):37-38. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820270037013

Successful inoculation of laboratory animals by the application of a mesodermotropic virus to unabraded skin surfaces has been reported recently by Shaughnessy and Zichis1 of the Illinois Department of Health.

The skin has been established as an effective barrier against most bacterial infections by earlier experimental pathologists. The possibility that this barrier may be much less effective against ultramicroscopic viruses, however, has been tacitly assumed by many clinicians. It is a common practice, for example, to administer antirabic vaccines to persons whose hands have been licked or otherwise contaminated with the saliva of rabid dogs.

This clinical practice is justified, as was shown about a decade ago by Bauer and Hudson,2 who rubbed yellow fever virus on the unabraded skin of rhesus monkeys and were thus able to inoculate these animals with yellow fever. Findlay and Stern3 subsequently showed that the virus of lymphocytic choriomeningitis is also

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