§ Mr. BROMFIELD
asked the Minister of Health what means are adopted by his officials in connection with the carrying out of the therapeutic substances regulations, for determining whether samples of vaccine lymph contain what is called vaccinia virus, seeing that the supposed microbe of vaccinia has not been isolated; and what the the characteristic lesions due to vaccinia virus referred to on page 19 of the therapeutic substances regulations?
The methods adopted in pursuance of Article 8 in Part I (B) of the Second Schedule to the Regulations are those of Calmette-Guerin, Gins, Sobernheim and Groth, which are recommended by the Small-pox and Vaccination Commission of the League of Nations. The characteristic lesions referred to are the production of the specific and characteristic vesicles on the rabbit's skin, inflammation with cloudiness and opacity of the cornea of guinea-pigs and rabbits, and local areas of infiltration of definite size and appearance in the case of the intradermal method.
§ Mr. BROMFIELD
asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the information in the recently published third edition of Goodall's and Washbourne's Manual of Infectious Diseases in regard to the various sources of vaccine lymph produced in the Government lymph establishment, he will state what means are used by his officials for ascertaining whether the viruses obtained from so many different sources are identical in their character, particularly in view of the fact that no casual germ specific to vaccinia has been discovered; to what extent rabbits are used for the purpose of propagating lymph in the establishment; and when were they first brought into use for that purpose?
The statement in the publication in question as regards the various sources of vaccine lymph appears to refer to vaccine lymph in general, and not to the lymph used at the Government Lymph Establishment. As I have stated on more than one occasion, the records show that the lymph now used at the Government Lymph Establishment is derived from calf lymph originally obtained from Cologne, 1927W and the strain has since been carried on by repeated transference from animal to animal. In these circumstances, the first part of the question does not arise. As regards the second part, the number of rabbits used for the purpose of propagating lymph varies with circumstances. During the last six months the number so used was 12. Rabbits for this purpose have been systematically used since 1902, and for two years previously in preliminary experimental investigations.