A statistically derived index for classifying East Coast fever reactions in cattle challenged with Theileria parva under experimental conditions.
A statistically derived disease reaction index based on parasitological, clinical and haematological measurements observed in 309 five- to 8-month-old Boran cattle following experimental infection with Theileria parva is described. Principal component analysis was applied to 13 measures including first appearance of schizonts, first appearance of piroplasms and first occurrence of pyrexia, together with the duration and severity of these symptoms, and white blood cell count. The first principal component, which was based on approximately equal contributions of the 13 variables, provided the definition for the disease reaction index, defined on a scale of 0-10. As well as providing a more objective measure of the severity of the reaction, the continuous nature of the index score will permit a more powerful statistical analysis of the data compared with that which has been previously possible through clinically derived categories of no, mild, moderate and severe reactions.