Cattle production: More on vibriosis


By Digital team | 7 November 2018
cattle; nguni; vibriosis
Photo: Willem van den Berg

Question: What is vibriosis [campylobacter fetus (venerealis)]?

  • Vibriosis in cattle is a typical venereal disease passed from one animal to another during mating.
  • It is caused by a comma-shaped bacterium known as campylobacter fetus of which there are a number of subspecies.
  • Bulls usually become infected when they serve infected cows.

Also read: Get the best from your new bull

  • When infected bulls serve susceptible heifers or cows the infection gets transmitted and results in an inflammatory reaction in the female genital organs.
  • Conception usually does not take place, or the embryo is resorbed or aborted at a very early age.
  • The result is that cows come on heat repeatedly and this eventually manifests as a low calving percentage in the herd.

There are many other causes of infertility in which feeding, management and other infectious diseases such as trichomoniasis may play a prominent role. All cases of infertility should therefore not be ascribed to vibriosis.

Heifers should be immunised 8 weeks before they are served and again 4 weeks later. A single booster injection should then be given 4 weeks before each ensuing breeding season.

The dosage of 2 ml for heifers and cows not pregnant and 5 ml for bulls gets injected subcutaneously (i.e. under the skin).

  • This article was written by Cois Harman and first appeared in Farming SA.