Campylobacter in Cattle

Campylobacter

(Campylobacter fetus sp. venerealis, Campy, Vibrio)

Campylobacter fetus is another sexually transmitted disease in cattle. It is also commonly referred to as Campy or Vibrio. Like Trich, bulls infected with Campylobacter do not show clinical signs of being infected. Infected bulls will infect cows at the time of breeding. These cows will lose their pregnancy in the early stages and come back into heat. This is another cause of the “repeat breeder” cow. Testing breeding bulls for Campylobacter prior to the breeding season or exposure to cows is very important to decrease the chance of losing a calf crop. Keeping good records and records analysis is very helpful to detecting this disease in your herd.

-What is Campylobacter?

Campylobacter is a type of bacteria that causes a few different problems in cattle from diarrhea to reproductive failures. Campylobacter fetus ssp. venerealis is probably the most economically important type of Campylobacter in cattle. This bacterium is formerly known as Vibrio.

-Symptoms of Campylobacter fetus in cows:

1. Cows come back into heat shortly after breeding

2. Abortion

3. Drastically reduced herd pregnancy rate

4. Will sometimes cause a vaginitis in cows

 

-Is Campylobacter contagious?

Yes. It is spread from bull to cow during mating.

 

-Risk factors of Campylobacter:

1. Buying open, older cows

2. Buying older bulls

3. Loaning or borrowing bulls

 

-How serious is Campylobacter?

If Campylobacter enters a herd and goes undetected, it can be very serious. It will result in a drastically reduced calf crop and loss of money for the farm. If diagnosed, it can be managed and pregnancy losses minimized.

 

-Can Campylobacter infection be prevented?

Yes. Proper biosecurity, vaccination programs, keeping good reproduction records, and working closely with a herd veterinarian is the best way to prevent it from entering your herd.


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