The lesions found in animals with epidemic rabbit pox have been described in this paper. The most distinctive gross lesion in all organs and tissues was the small nodule or papule which was found to consist of mononuclear infiltration and necrosis. Diffuse lesions were also found in which the infiltration was widespread and accompanied by edema, hemorrhage and extensive necrosis of affected tissues and organs. The possibility of the diffuse lesions being due to the action of secondary invaders was considered, but available evidence indicated that the different types, including pneumonia, represented reactions to a single causative agent. Moreover, an intimate relationship was observed to exist between lesions and small blood vessels in which primary endothelial damage was usually apparent. The degree of vascular damage generally corresponded to the extent of the lesion and it is probable that this in turn corresponded to the dose of the causative agent.
The close analogy between the clinical manifestations and pathological processes of this disease in the rabbit and small pox in man led to the conclusion that the disease in the rabbit is essentially the same as small pox, and that it is probably produced by a virus closely related to the virus of small pox. Available evidence indicated that the infection originated in the Institute and that it spread in atypical form or masked by some other disease until it reached the breeding colony as a clearly defined epidemic infection.