The intravenous administration of whole blood from a pathologically confirmed field case of bovine malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) resulted in the appearance of the disease in three of five experimental calves 18 to 28 days later. Infection was maintained by serial calf transmissions, and produced clinical and pathological changes identical to those of the field disease for a total of 10 passages. The sixth passage involved the simultaneous infection of 10 calves from a single donor animal; six of the 10 recipients developed the typical disease after incubation periods ranging from 20 to 36 days and in each of these MCF was confirmed by pathological examination. In addition, clinical and pathological changes in the four other calves which were slaughtered either seven or 14 days post-infection suggested that they too would have developed typical clinical signs had they been allowed to survive for the necessary length of time. The results of a detailed study of the onset, progress and duration of the clinical signs of experimentally induced MCF are presented and the opportunity has been taken to discuss the available information regarding the transmission of MCF under experimental conditions and in the field.
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