Two strains of myxoma virus isolated from naturally infected wild rabbits have been described. They showed similar clinical symptoms, the most striking feature being the flat primary lesion. In fifteen rabbits the Brecon strain gave a mean survival time of 26·3 days with a range of 17–47 days, and one recovery. Of 5 rabbits inoculated with the Durham strain three became clinically infected and two remained healthy, the latter were found to be fully susceptible on reinoculation. The three infected rabbits all recovered.
The field strains of virus were compared with known myxoma strains—Glenfield, Cornwall, A & H and KM 13. The first three are fully virulent, while KM 13 is attenuated and characteristic of the field strains now being isolated in Australia. The similarity between the clinical symptoms and mean survival time of KM 13 and the Brecon strain was noted.
It is suggested that the two field strains described in this paper may be the first indication that the evolution of myxoma virus in this country is similar to the evolution of the virus in Australia.
One of us (P.J.C.) is greatly indebted to the Director for allowing this work to be carried out at M.R.E. whilst laboratory accomodation was being prepared at Worplesdon. We are grateful for the help and encouragement of Dr J. C. N. Westwood of M.R.E. To Prof. F. Fenner who gave us the Australian strains of myxoma virus and to Mr J. H. Darbyshire of the Central Veterinary Laboratory who supplied the tissues from which the two attenuated strains were isolated, we extend our thanks.