Infectious Pustular Vulvovaginitis

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This viral disease of cattle is also known as IPV and is caused by Bovine Herpesvirus 1. Transmission of the disease is venereal and so the disease is now uncommon in cattle due to the constant use of artificial insemination (A.I.). The disease causes impaired reproductive performance and painful genital lesions on both cows and bulls.

Clinical Signs

Genital lesions and a pustular vaginitis as the name suggests. In the male, lesions will be seen on the prepuce and sheath of the penis and in females there will be a pustular inflammatory process in the vagina, along with painful lesions here. In both sexes, frequent micturition is a common clinical sign.


Virus isolation and immunofluorescence with samples taken from swabs of the lesions.


Vaccination. There are two live attenuated vaccines are available in the UK, one is temperature-sensitive. Both are given intranasally, however, neither protect against re-infection when given during clinical outbreak, but can lessen the severity of the disease. Inactivated vaccines for intranasal/intramuscular administration have a gE deletion which makes this a marker vaccine. ELISA for gE deletion can enable culling of carrier animals.

IPV has mostly been made obsolete by AI.

For more information see Bovine Herpesvirus 1.


Andrews, A.H, Blowey, R.W, Boyd, H and Eddy, R.G. (2004) Bovine Medicine (Second edition), Blackwell Publishing

Bridger, J and Russell, P (2007) Virology Study Guide, Royal Veterinary College

Radostits, O.M, Arundel, J.H, and Gay, C.C. (2000) Veterinary Medicine: a textbook of the diseases of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses, Elsevier Health Sciences

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