From apparently normal voles captured on Grosse Isle, Province of Quebec, Canada, an infective agent has been grown in embryonated eggs, and by inoculation an inapparent infection was established in voles, mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, and rats. No growth of the agent was obtained in the absence of living cells, and the manner of its development in the yolk sac of embryonated eggs, as well as morphological, epidemiological, and pathogenic features, indicates a rickettsial nature.
The inability to transmit infection by either cage or intrauterine contact points to a vector, and mites are shown to have a probable part in the epidemiology.
Mice infected with the vole agent resist lethal doses of the Karp strain of scrub typhus, and certain epidemiological, morphological, and immunological features support the relationship indicated by the mouse tests. It is therefore concluded that voles on this island have an inapparent infection due to a rickettsia that may be related to the rickettsia of scrub typhus.