Eight cattle immunized with cattle-derived Theileria parva Boleni stabilate together with six susceptible controls were released in Dombawera Game Park on the Highveld of Zimbabwe. This coincided with Rhipicephalus appendiculatus nymphal activity. The cattle grazed together with African buffaloes ( Syncerus caffer) and were not treated against tick infestation. The nymphal tick infestation was high, and seven of the eight immunized cattle and three of the controls had severe and fatal reactions. Subsequently, two stocks of Theileria parva to be tested for their immunizing abilities were prepared - one from adult ticks which were fed as nymphs on one of the sick control animals (Dom 268) and the other from adult ticks collected from pastures grazed by buffaloes (Bv-1). Two groups of cattle were immunized with either the Dom 268-derived strain (eight animals) or the Bv-1-derived strain (four animals). These together with three non-immunized controls, were released in Bally Vaughaun Game Park in the Highveld, where buffaloes are present, during the season of nymphal tick activity. A third group of five cattle, immunized with stabilate Bv-1, and three non-immunized controls were released at the same site during the season of adult tick activity. The nymphal and adult tick infestations of the cattle were large and more than 2000 nymphs and 1000 adult ticks were counted per animal. Cattle were treated with a pyrethroid pour-on preparation to control the tick infestation and screw-worm strike. The immunized cattle in the three groups survived the theileriosis challenge for a period of 18 months, but the non-immunized control cattle suffered a severe and fatal theileriosis 19-23 days after being placed on the pasture.
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