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January 31, 1948


JAMA. 1948;136(5):331. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890220041012

Neoplastic diseases are not exclusively a problem in man; lymphomatosis in fowl causes an annual loss in this country of $50,000,000.1 Forty per cent of the high mortality in growing fowl during the first year of life results from lymphomatosis. The disease is characterized by a proliferation of undifferentiated lymphocytes in the viscera, nerves and iris; it is transmitted to fowl under 5 months of age by contact with older stock. Since lymphomatosis is transmissible by cell-free filtrates it is presumably a virus disease, neoplastic in character.

Hutt and Cole2 controlled the disease by genetic methods. In twelve years they developed from a previously unselected population two strains of fowl resistant to the disease. Other desirable features such as satisfactory body size, egg size, and egg production were not lost in the process. Simultaneously, by the same genetic methods, a strain highly susceptible to lymphomatosis was produced, despite