Bovine genital campylobacteriosis

Bovine genital campylobacteriosis (BGC) is a venereal disease also known as bovine venereal campylobacteriosis. The causal agent of this sexually transmissible disease is Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis (Cfv), one of three subspecies of C. fetus. Bovine infections with Cfv are associated with infertility, early embryonic death, and abortion with considerable economic losses. Bulls are important reservoirs. Bovine infections with C. fetus subsp. fetus (Cff) are associated with abortion and have a more sporadic occurrence; it can be isolated from aborted bovine fetuses indicating that it has clinical relevance in cattle. Cfv has a pronounced tropism for the male and female genital systems of cattle. Bacterial transmission takes place mainly during natural mating. The disease may also spread through artificial insemination with semen from infected bulls. Although C. fetus is primarily recognised as a pathogen in animals, Cff is occasionally diagnosed as an opportunistic pathogen in humans. Infections usually occur in pregnant or immuno-compromised individuals and are often systemic with a variety of complications depending on the site of infection While there are commercial vaccines available, and autologous vaccines based on isolated strains from farms can be used, there is a lack of scientific evidence overall of the effectiveness of vaccination.