• Open Access

Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis: A Review

Authors


Veterinary Referral Centre, 48 Notch Road, Little Falls, NJ 07424; e-mail: Muro128@aol.com.

Abstract

The economic impact of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) warrants continued investigation of the mechanisms by which Moraxella bovis survives on and colonizes the corneal surface. Virulent strains of M bovis produce hemolysin and exhibit different plasmid profiles than nonvirulent strains. Interactions among host, environment, vector, season, and concurrent infection influence the prevalence of IBK. Mycoplasma sp. or infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus may enhance or hasten the disease process. The manifestations of IBK may range from mild conjunctivitis to severe ulceration, corneal perforation, and blindness. Treatment of IBK is dictated by economic considerations, intended animal use, and feasibility of administration. Antibiotic therapy is aimed at achieving drug concentrations in tears to meet or exceed the minimum inhibitory concentration for prolonged periods. At present, IBK is not a preventable disease. Affected animals must be separated from the herd and vector control vigorously instituted. Carrier animals must be identified and removed from the herd. Vaccination trials have been unsuccessful because of pili antigen crossreactivity, variable strains, and uncontrolled environmental factors. Recent investigations have determined that M bovis may utilize host iron sources via iron-repressible outer membrane proteins and siderophores for growth. Elucidation of normal defense mechanisms of the bovine eye may lead to new strategies to enhance the immune response against M bovis.

Ancillary