A nine-banded armadillo was inoculated with Mycobacterium leprae in both hind footpads. The animals were usually inoculated intravenously, or intradermally in the abdominal skin. Profuse multiplication of the bacilli occurred at the injection sites after more than two years. Eventually bacteraemia developed, and large numbers of the organisms were found in skin biopsies and in lymph nodes. There was limited dissemination of the bacteria into the spleen and the liver, and peripheral nerve invasion by the bacilli was also detected. M. leprae remained viable in the liver tissue, kept frozen at -80 degrees C for three years. This experimental system would be useful in testing the effects of certain immunological and chemotherapeutic agents against M. leprae by injecting them directly at the infection site.