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The Effects of X Irradiation on a Naturally Occurring Endemic Infection

V. P. Bond, I. L. Shechmeister, M. N. Swift and M. C. Fishler
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 91, No. 1 (Jul. - Aug., 1952), pp. 26-32
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30094119
Page Count: 7
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The Effects of X Irradiation on a Naturally Occurring Endemic Infection
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Abstract

Advantage was taken of a naturally occurring endemic pulmonary infection in a colony of laboratory rats to study (a) the effects of irradiation on the incidence and severity of the natural infection in the colony, and (b) the degree to which the infection influenced X-ray morbidity and mortality. The data strongly suggest that irradiation increases the rate of spread of the disease or "activates" infection that otherwise might remain latent. However, these effects could not be evaluated accurately since the incidence of disease in nonirradiated rats varied considerably with the stage of development of the endemic infection. The X-ray LD5o for rats showing gross evidence of a disease that in itself did not kill immediately is reduced considerably below that for apparently normal animals. These findings re-emphasized the necessity of maintaining a healthy experimental animal colony, particularly in investigations extending over several weeks and involving an agent, such as X ray, which not only results in general debility but also can interfere with specific immune mechanisms.

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