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Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a novel orthobunyavirus, was discovered in Germany in 2011. In adult ruminants SBV causes mild transient disease, but foetal infection can lead to severe malformations. Owing to its recent discovery, the knowledge about the pathogenesis is limited. In this study, two heifers seroconverted after a previous SBV infection and five SBV antibody-negative calves were subcutaneously inoculated, another two animals received SBV orally and three were kept as controls. In naïve cattle infected subcutaneously viral RNA was detected in serum and blood samples for several days. Seropositive or orally inoculated animals as well as the uninfected controls remained negative throughout the study. Seroconversion was observed only after subcutaneous exposure of the naïve animals to SBV. In lymphocytes from peripheral blood SBV genome was not detected, but the lymphocyte homeostasis in blood was influenced.