Animal Health Research Reviews

Review Article

A review of randomized clinical trials reporting antibiotic treatment of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis in cattle

Annette M. O'Connora1 c1, Nickolas G. Wellmana1, Richard B. Evansa1 and Dustin R. Rotha1

a1 Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010, USA


The objective of the study was to evaluate treatments for infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), based on a systematic review of the published literature. A search was conducted to identify all manuscripts relating to antibiotic treatment of cattle with IBK. Relevant studies involved naturally occurring IBK and reported the resolution of lesions as a study outcome. Studies which failed to use methods such as blinding, blocking or randomization to minimize bias were excluded from the review. The initial search yielded 196 manuscripts, of which nine described high-quality, randomized clinical trials. These manuscripts reported antibiotic treatment of IBK with florfenicol, ceftiofur, oxytetracycline, procaine penicillin G, procaine penicillin G and dexamethasone, tilmicosin, or benzathine cloxacillin compared to either a placebo control or a non-medicated control. Overall, the studies suggest that antibiotic treatment is successful in reducing healing times of IBK-associated corneal lesions. Very few manuscripts reported a direct comparison of different antibiotic classes, so it was not possible to make comparative evaluations of efficacy. This review demonstrates the need for further randomized controlled trials that evaluate the efficacy of antibiotic treatment for IBK, including direct comparisons of two or more antibiotics.

(Received July 25 2006)

(Accepted December 01 2006)


c1 *Corresponding author. E-mail: