In the course of a study initiated to elucidate the role of known abortifacient agents in ruminants
in Southern Afnca, Coxiella burnetii was identified in smears prepared from bovine and ovine
placental tissues obtained from 12 farms . The organism was also isolated in embryonated eggs, and
specific antibodies were demonstrated in sera of animals originating from these farms. In 7 of the
12 herds in which Q fever was diagnosed, other pathogens were identified concomitantly.