Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery November 04, 2011 Print Friendly and PDF

Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease of cattle caused by Campylobacter fetus bacteria. The bacteria are spread through contact with feces, semen, vaginal discharge, and milk. Cattle can also become infected through contact with contaminated equipment or bedding. However, cattle most often contract this disease during mating.

Cattle infected with campylobacteriosis often recover without incident. However, the disease can cause considerable economic loss through prolonged breeding seasons, decreased number of calves, and culling of non-pregnant cows. In addition, there is speculation that Campylobacter bacteria can contribute to mastitis.


Endemic Areas

C. fetus bacteria are found worldwide.


Clinical Signs

  • Irregular estrus cycle
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Occasional abortion



Campylobacteriosis may be treated with antibiotics but most cows will recover on their own. Any cow suspected of having Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis should be reported to the State Veterinarians or USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge immediately.



Campylobacteriosis vaccines are available. However, the use of artificial insemination is the best way to prevent the introduction and spread of Bovine Genital Campylobacteriosis.


Public Health

Campylobacter jejuni infections are the most common cause of bacterial diarrhea in the United States. However, C. fetus bacterial infections in humans are rare and often do not cause diarrhea. Symptoms of C. fetus infections in humans include fever and abdominal pain. Antibiotics are usually not given and the infection will clear on its own.

C. fetus bacteria can be found in undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk and cheese and fecal material of animals.



Campylobacteriosis -Iowa State University

Campylobacteriosis -New Jersey DOA

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.