Rabbits receiving repeated intravenous injections of killed bacteria (Escherichia coli or Bacillus subtilis) developed IgM rheumatoid factor which reacted with autologous heat-aggregated IgG. In addition, 5/7 'Old English' and 7/8 'Sandy Lop' rabbits receiving killed E. coli developed rheumatoid-like synovial lesions. 'Old English' rabbits developed lesions of a more severe nature. Three of eight 'Sandy Lop' rabbits injected with killed B. subtilis had high levels of rheumatoid factor but only mild joint lesions.
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