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

  • Introducing new breeding animals into a herd.
  • Moving infected sires or dams between or among herds.
  • In heifers and maiden ewes.
  • Older bulls.
  • Grain feeding or intensive rotational grazing situations in sheep.

Identifying and diagnosing vibriosis

Diagnosis of vibriosis will require veterinary assistance.

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

  • Early-term abortion or embryonic loss.
  • Extended breeding season.
  • Low calving or lambing rates.

Prevention strategies for vibriosis

  • Culling all empty breeders at a pregnancy test will reduce the prevalence of the disease although pregnant animals can still be infected.
  • Reducing the age of bulls.
  • Bull control and seasonal mating.
  • Running maiden ewes with older ewes before mating to ensure maiden ewes are exposed before pregnancy.
  • Vaccinating against the disease.

More information

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