The virus of malignant catarrhal fever (MCFV) was isolated from the nasal secretions of 6 of 66 recently captured blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus). Ten MCFV isolates were made from 131 nasal swab specimens but only one isolate was obtained from 168 blood samples. All MCFV isolates from nasal secretions were from wildebeest in captivity, under the stresses of confinement, changes in nutrition, or after injections of a corticosteroid drug, betamethasone. One isolate of MCFV was made from the tonsils of a pregnant wildebeest. It is postulated that nasal shedding of MCFV may be a mechanism for transmission of virus among wildebeest and from wildebeest to cattle.
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