It has been the hope of those interested in the investigation of human leprosy that much information might be gained by careful study of a disease occurring in rats, clinically similar in a superficial way to leprosy in man, and caused by a bacillus morphologically indistinguishable from the Bacillus leprœ of Hansen.
Since Stefansky's1 first observation of this disease among the rats of Odessa, similar observations have been made in many parts of the world, notably in Berlin (Rabinovitsch2), in London (Dean3), in New South Wales (Tidswell4) and in San Francisco (Wherry5 and McCoy6).
The great hygienic importance of the possible identity of the disease of rats with that of man, together with the experimental advantages incident to the ease of transference of the former disease from rat to rat, have led to an already considerable collection of facts regarding rat leprosy. Much light has
ZINSSER H, CAREY EG. A CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY OF RAT LEPROSY. JAMA. 1912;LVIII(10):692-695. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260030092009