The susceptibility of homozygous BSVS mice to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADE) has been found to be nutritionally dependent. On a laboratory stock regimen of commercial fox chow pellets, whole wheat bread, and milk this genotype is 100 per cent susceptible to the disease. On a "synthetic" diet, containing a minimal list of vitamins adequate for growth and maintenance, susceptibility was found to be reduced to 15 per cent. Supplementation of the "synthetic" diet with biotin, folic acid, and vitamin B12 restored susceptibility to a frequency of 70 per cent. Increasing the supplements tenfold had no further effect in restoring susceptibility frequencies to the 100 per cent level.
In the restoration of susceptibility, folic acid and vitamin B12 were equally effective as single supplements and equivalent to the triple vitamin supplement. The effect of single biotin supplementation was less.
An outbreak of fatal pasteurellosis among BSVS mice latently infected with Pasteurella and used in an ADE susceptibility test has been described. The fatal pasteurellosis has been ascribed to a constellation of determinants including (a) diet, (b) sex, (c) inoculation events, and (d) latent infection with Pasteurella. With males the susceptible sex it was possible to avert the fatal pasteurellosis and continue the nutritional experiments by using females exclusively.