Thorns in armadillo ears and noses and their role in the transmission of leprosy.Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1986 Nov; 110(11):1025-8.AP
Both ears from 494 wild nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus) and nose specimens from 224 animals were collected and histopathologically studied. Lepromatous granulomas were present in the ear specimens of ten of 494 animals. There were thorns in the ears of 22.5% of animals, and in 36.6% of the nose specimens. In one armadillo, there was evidence to suggest that Mycobacterium leprae entered the tissue through the thorn pricks. In the normal habitat of the armadillo in Louisiana there are thorny bushes consisting mostly of the green briar and the southern dewberry. Thorn pricks as a means of transmission of leprosy in the wild armadillos is suggested.