Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis


Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis is a highly contagious respiratory disease, most commonly in feedlot cattle and affecting both young and older cattle. The viral infection alone causes only mild to moderate respiratory signs, but it predisposes to secondary bacterial pneumonia which can cause death.

Other syndromes observed include infectious pustular vulvovaginitis, balanoposthitis, conjunctivitis and encephalomyelitis (very rare).

Diagnosis and tests available


Diagnosis is strongly supported by history, clinical signs, histopathology and serology tests and confirmed by PCR.

Tests available


Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1


Fixed tissue

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis antibody ELISA

Clotted blood (red top tube)

Twice weekly

3-5 days

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis Real–time PCR

Fresh tissue or swab in PBGS

According to demand

2-3 working days

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis VNT

Clotted blood (red top tube)

Batch tested on Thursday

1-2 weeks

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.

Specimen requirements

Blood (without anti-coagulant)

  • 10 ml of blood collected into a plain red top tube
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Lung collected at post mortem
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin: tissue

Fresh tissue

  • Fresh lung collected at post mortem
    • Submit chilled


  • Nasal or genital swab from acutely affected animals
    • Send in viral transport media (PBGS)