The conclusions which may be drawn from the results of the experiments here presented are:
1. The cornea of the rabbit is highly sensitive to the action of various injected bacteria. The lesions vary from insignificant, transient changes to severe, destructive panophthalmitis, with fine gradations from the mildest to the violent form of inflammation. Moreover, animals that receive the same organisms show like changes.
2. The varying degree of inflammatory reaction is related to the pathogenicity of the special culture employed; as, for example, is shown by the reactions to Type I pneumococci and to Bacterium granulosis. It is evident that when a microorganism having a certain degree of virulence is used, a lesion of localized vasculonebulous keratitis resembling pannus tenuis or vasculosus of human trachoma can be induced. Thus Bacterium granulosis, Bacillus xerosis, Hemophilus influenzae, Pneumococcus Type II, Streptococcus viridans, and gonococcus can cause the pannus-like corneal changes in the rabbit. Of these organisms, however, only Bacterium granulosis induces early, uncomplicated and enduring keratitic lesions; the others cause first, diffuse keratitis with suppurative lesions; then, as a residual effect, transient, localized, vasculonebulous changes in the cornea. These changes, in contradistinction to the granulosis lesions, are, therefore delayed, complicated, and transient. When, on the other hand, the invasiveness and infecting power of the organisms are low, as is the case with the filtrable, Gram-negative bacillus and the small, Gram-negative bacilli ultimately derived from cases of folliculosis, no marked effect is produced by their intracorneal inoculation. If the pathogenicity of bacteria is high (as shown by Pneumococcus Type I, hemolytic streptococcus, and the remaining bacteria), intracorneal inoculation of the microorganisms leads to serious suppurative or destructive changes.
3. The results of experiments with monkeys indicate that while pannus is not a sequel of experimental trachomatous conjunctivitis, a lesion resembling it follows intracorneal inoculation of Bacterium granulosis.
4. One can infer from these results, therefore, that the stimulus necessary to produce corneal changes in animals, similar to those of trachomatous pannus, is an agent having a definite but extremely low power of invasiveness and infectivity.