IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis), caused by Bovine Herpes-1 (BHV-1), is an acute, highly contagious viral disease(5) affecting mainly cattle and bison, although it can be spread to wild ruminants as well (2). BHV-1 is able to infect multiple tissues within the body and therefore has a number of different manifestations: Respiratory (also known as “Red Nose”), Ocular, involving severe conjunctivitis, Genital, (Infectious Purulent Vulvovaginitis – IPV), IBR Abortions, and IBR Encephalitis (2).
IBR does not on its own have a high fatality rate when there is uncomplicated infection (1-2% mortality in these cases). However, when there are secondary bacterial infections, such as with Pasteurella haemolytica (7), bronchopneumonia often results, with far higher morbidity and mortality rate (5). Due to this complication with secondary infections, IBR can result in high production losses. The most serious in dairy animals is reduced milk yield, abortions and disease in calves, while in beef cattle it typically is reduced weight gain (7)
Since IBR can become latent and subsequently be shed by carrier animals without clinical signs, preventing this disease is key to controlling it, since even a recovered case of acute IBR does not guarantee that the animal will be free of the disease (2 and 7)