In this study, 20 laboratory reared Onychomys leucogaster from a parental population that is naturally exposed to plague were each fed a white mouse that had been inoculated with Yersinia pestis. Three of the 20 O. leucogaster died, four survived with antibody titers against Y. pestis and 13 survived with no titer against Y. pestis. In contrast, when 20 O. leucogaster from a plague naive parental population were fed infected prey, seven died and 13 survived with no antibody titer against Y. pestis. Our results suggest another means by which O. leucogaster from populations that are naturally exposed to plague may acquire the disease.
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Vol. 25 • No. 4