Back to Research & Development

Subscribe to R&D Round-Up newsletter

Stay informed with a short, sharp monthly summary of MLA’s latest research reports.

Sign up

Vibriosis

Vibriosis is a common venereal disease of cattle transmitted by mating infected bulls to susceptible cows. Vibriosis also occurs in sheep, where the disease is spread by ingestion of contaminated water or feed.

Vibriosis is caused by the bacterium Campylobacter fetus.

Conditions when vibriosis is likely to occur

  • new breeding animals introduced into a herd
  • infected sires or dams moved between or among herds
  • in heifers and maiden ewes
  • older bulls
  • grain feeding or intensive rotational grazing situations in sheep.

Identification and diagnosis

Diagnosis of vibriosis will require veterinary assistance.

Clinical signs that would lead you to suspect vibriosis include the following:

  • early-term abortion or embryonic loss
  • extended breeding season
  • low calving or lambing rates.

Prevention

An integrated approach to prevent vibriosis should consider the following:

  • culling all breeders pregnancy tested as empty will reduce the prevalence of the disease, although pregnant animals can still be infected
  • reducing the age of bulls
  • bull control and seasonal mating.
  • vaccinating against the disease following the directions on the vaccine label.