Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis: a practical yet evidence-based approach to treatment and prevention on dairy farms


  • Lowell Midla Merck Animal Health, De Soto, KS 66018


infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis, pinkeye, Moraxella bovis, Moraxella bovoculi, Mycoplasma bovoculi


While it has long been accepted that Moraxella bovis is the cause of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), there is growing evidence that Moraxella bovoculi and/or Mycoplasma bovis may be involved in some outbreaks on some farms, and that more than one organism may often be involved. All 3 organisms can be found in the eyes of healthy cattle and are likely commensal organisms in the bovine eye. Interactions between these organ­isms in the pathogenesis of IBK are only beginning to be un­derstood. The disease triangle (host – pathogen – environment) is a conceptual model that is especially useful to practitioners dealing with IBK for all 3 are equally important and must be considered. Corneal damage is likely a prerequisite for initia­tion of IBK in most cases. Therefore, efforts to eliminate causes of corneal damage are critical elements of success. While there are surprisingly few studies supporting vaccination as a control measure, vaccination against both Moraxella bovis and Moraxella bovoculi is recommended. Treatment is relatively straightforward.






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