Faculty Research 1980 - 1989


Venereal spirochetosis of rabbits: eradication.

Document Type


Publication Date



Animals-Newborn, Female, Injections-Subcutaneous, Male, Penicillin-G-Benzathine: tu, Penicillin-G-Procaine: tu, Rabbits, Sexually-Transmitted-Diseases: pc, ve, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Treponemal-Infections: pc, ve

JAX Location


JAX Source

Lab-Anim-Sci. 1981 Aug; 31(4):379-81.


RR00251, EY03115


Venereal spirochetosis of rabbits, caused by Treponema cuniculi, have been observed since the 1940's in the rabbit colony maintained at The Jackson Laboratory. Treatment of individual rabbits with obvious clinical lesions using a product containing crystalline penicillin and dihydrostreptomycin caused lesions to heal but venereal spirochetosis persisted in the colony. Clinical and serological responses of rabbits receiving three subcutaneous injections of benzathine penicillin G-procaine penicillin G (either 42,000 or 84,000 IU/kg body weight/week) at 7 day intervals were monitored. Both doses were effective. Lesions healed within 2 weeks of the first treatment. Rapid plasma reagin titers declined markedly or disappeared by the sixth week after the first treatment. Based upon the above findings and results of previous epizootiological studies, a program to eradicate venereal spirochetosis from this enzootically infected colony was successfully undertaken.

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