The pathological changes in cattle, sheep, goats, mice and various game species infected with Cowdria ruminantium are summarized. Macroscopical lesions in most animals include effusion of body cavities, oedema of the lungs and lymph nodes and splenomegaly. Apart from the presence of heartwater organisms in most organs the histopathological lesions are not striking. The ultrastructural lesions in the lungs of sheep and goats infected with the Ba 11 3 strain of heartwater, and mice infected with the Welgevonden strain, are discussed. Damage to capillary endothelial cells of the alveoli is limited and the mild cytopathic changes in parasitized cells indicate that the damage caused by the organisms is most probably not responsible for the increased vascular permeability associated with the disease. Pathological changes in domestic ruminants and game animals are briefly compared.
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