Main content area

Epidemiology and control of bovine herpesvirus 1 infection in Europe

Raaperi, Kerli, Orro, Toomas, Viltrop, Arvo
The veterinary journal 2014 v.201 no.3 pp. 249-256
Bovine herpesvirus 1, European Union, cattle, control methods, epidemiology, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, monitoring, semen, viruses, Europe
Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) causes infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), infectious pustular vulvovaginitis, abortion and balanoposthitis, as well as neurological and systemic disease in cattle. The virus is endemic in cattle populations worldwide although in Europe six countries and several regions in other countries have achieved ‘IBR-free’ status by implementing control measures.According to European Union (EU) directives, all member states must comply with specific requirements related to BHV-1 infection status in semen and embryos. The requirement that ‘IBR-free’ states restrict the importation of cattle from endemically infected regions has motivated several European countries to instigate disease eradication programmes. Despite such control measures within the EU, outbreaks of IBR persist in ‘IBR-free’ states contiguous with infected countries. This review presents a summary of recent research on the epidemiology of BHV-1, highlights the control measures and surveillance systems in place, and discusses the challenges facing eradication schemes.