The resistance to artificical infection with Cowdria ruminantium of calves born to cows fully susceptible to heartwater is no different from that of calves bred in heartwater endemic areas where the tick challenge is negligible to considerable. The sub-inoculation into mice of blood collected 14-26 days after infection proved the presence of the heartwater agent in the blood of 8 out of 10 calves with no other clinical signs than mild to moderate fever. The combined use of a mouse model and the indirect fluorescent antibody test revealed considerable variation in the degrees to which calves become infected and react to artifical infection.
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