Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) occurs in all parts of the U.K. Once thought of as a summer disease it is now frequently reported during the winter months. The disease affects cattle in many other countries and is especially important in hot
dry climates where European breeds of cattle are farmed.
Recent work has shown that Moraxella bovis is the chief cause of the disease and there can be few people involved in cattle work who have not seen the lesions produced. Nevertheless it is worth noting that the signs and symptoms can vary in variety, ranging from a clinically normal but infected animal to animals showing nothing other than a small facet through moderate ulceration, vascularisation, corneal oedema, blepharospasm and lacrimation to animals with large and deep ulcers which occasionally penetrate leading to rupture of the glove. Corneal oedema does not always reflect the size of the ulcer.
Anterior segment pain causes loss of productivity and the corneal opacities remaining after the lesion has healed can persist permanently, impairing vision and reducing the value of show or pedigree breeding animals. I have been asked to write about current thinking and so I propose to review the work published since 1980 and to bring in some of my own work where relevant.
The paper will be divided into a discussion of the disease itself, its pathology, epizootiology and the importance of environmental and breed factors followed by observations on Moracella bovis, advances in sampling techniques, serology and vaccines.
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