Bartonella bacilliformis failed to induce lesions when merely rubbed on the surface of the intact skin of a chimpanzee, an ourang-utan, and numerous Macacus rhesus monkeys, although when applied to the scarified skin of the same animals it gave rise to extensive lesions.
Application of infectious material to the scarified skin did not always induce verruga lesions, but intradermal inoculation almost invariably gave rise to nodule formation.
The localization of Bartonella bacilliformis in the skin is not, in experimental animals, determined by mechanical factors, since scarification of the skin or intradermal injection of foreign substances in monkeys infected with Bartonella bacilliformis does not give rise to verruga formation.
The degree of susceptibility of the skin tissues appears to be considerably diminished during the course of experimental infection with Bartonella bacilliformis. Inoculation of the scarified skin of infected animals gave uniformly negative results, and intradermal inoculation induced only a mild local reaction. In a few exceptional instances, however, of animals previously infected with the strain of Bartonella bacilliformis derived from a human verruga nodule, reinoculation with the same strain gave rise to unusually marked reactions.
The evolution of the skin lesion induced in experimental animals by Bartonella bacilliformis may be divided into four stages, the period of incubation, the initial stage, the mature and vascular stage, and the regression. In the initial stage the lesion is a pure angioendothelioma, but in the stage of full development the histological picture is complicated by connective tissue proliferation and occasionally also by penetration of epidermis into the lesion. The demonstration of Bartonella bacilliformis in the endothelial cells distinguishes the lesion from others which simulate it.
The cutaneous lesions known as verruga nodular, verruga mular, and verruga miliar have been reproduced in monkeys.