An outbreak of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) in the Owambo Mangetti area of South West Africa/Namibia in 1982 led to the slaughter of 3 153 cattle. The lungs of 266 of these animals were scrutinized for gross lesions of CBPP and samples of lung tissue, sequestral contents or pleural fluid were submitted to the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI), Onderstepoort for microbiological, immunofluorescent and pathological examination. Immunofluorescence proved to be the most successful method of diagnosis producing 96 % of positives, while mycoplasma isolations were only positive in 64 % of the 55 specimens processed in parallel. This clearly demonstrated the value of the former technique in the accurate as well as rapid diagnosis of CBPP. The impression smear technique employed, using Eriochrome black counterstaining proved most satisfactory and easy to interpret. The isolation of M. mycoides was influenced by the transit times and temperature of the samples on arrival at the VRI. No pathogenic bacteria were found in routine aerobic bacterial cultures from 27 of the samples submitted. Complement fixing antibodies were present in the sera of 16 cattle and titres varied between 10 and 320. Animals in which antibodies were absent included those with early lung lesions and some with sequestra.
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