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February 8, 1941


JAMA. 1941;116(6):509-510. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820060057015

Among the basic medical researches interrupted by the present European war, none are of greater clinical interest than the Oxford University1 studies of the vole acid-fast bacillus as a prophylactic vaccine against human or bovine tuberculosis. Although the experimental evidence thus far collected by Wells and Brooke is regarded by them as statistically inconclusive, their evidence is nevertheless sufficiently striking to warrant the hope that the vole vaccine may in time prove to be of clinical value.

Three years ago Wells,2 of the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford University, described a fatal tuberculosis-like disease of the wild voles of the British Isles, from which he isolated a hitherto undescribed acid-fast bacillus. The vole bacillus grows readily on Dorset's egg medium and will reproduce fatal tuberculosis-like disease if injected subcutaneously into laboratory bred voles but is almost devoid of pathogenicity for rabbits or guinea pigs. Massive doses

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