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Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis: Epidemiology, control, and impacts on livestock production and genetic resources

Aweke Engdawork, Helen Aklilu.


The present review aims to determine the epidemiology of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), control measures, and its impact on livestock production and genetic resources. The literature search was conducted to select and compile peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and international organization proceedings on the epidemiology, control, and impacts of IBR. IBR is a highly contagious disease of cattle that causes substantial economic losses throughout the world, particularly in the dairy and beef industries. Bovine alphaherpesvirus-1 causes this infectious viral disease, affecting the respiratory, and reproductive systems. IBR causes severe inflammation and dysfunction of the respiratory system. Infection of the reproductive system is responsible for abortion, retained placenta, metritis, and balanoposthitis. The transmission is by inhalation, contact with nasal and genital secretions, and fomites. Epidemiologically, the disease is known for its distinct latency characteristics. The infectious agent establishes a lifelong latent infection in the peripheral nervous system. The introduction of latently infected cattle, high stocking densities, confined pens, concurrent diseases, and low ambient temperatures increase the transmission and severity of the disease. The disease has no specific drug treatments, so control and prevention measures have inevitable roles. IBR is a significant constraint on livestock production globally, particularly in developing countries. It causes poor reproductive performance and productivity, the loss of replacement herds, and the culling of mature, productive animals. The implementation of strict biosecurity measures, immunization, quarantine, herd screening, and proper herd management are the most important control and prevention strategies.

Key words: Cattle; control; epidemiology; impacts; infectious bovine rhinotracheitis

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