Outbred Hartley male guinea pigs (300-400 g) were infected intradermally with various concentrations of Treponema pallidum Nichols strain in the pubic region. The median lethal dose (ID50) was approximately 10(5). The animals produced lesions visible by darkfield microscopy, treponemal antibodies (IgG only), and histopathological changes in the lymphoid organs. Though less susceptible to T pallidum infection than the rabbit when infected with a sufficient number of organisms, the guinea pig may be a useful model in experimental syphilis.
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