Infectious Bovine Rhinotrachetis (IBR)


What is Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR)?

IBR is caused by a bovine Herpes virus. It is highly contagious disease which is associated with abortion and inflammation of the respiratory pathways.


Transmission of IBR can be via nasal/oral secretions or from bull semen.  Animals can produce a successful immune response but can continue to shed the virus throughout their life, especially during stressful events such as entering a new herd or through calving.


  • Abortion
  • Airway inflammation and Pneumonia
  • Milk yield loss
  • Coughing
  • Inflamed eyes

Prevention and management of IBR can involve:

  • Vaccination (please consult your farm vet)
  • Increase biosecurity and only purchase cattle from IBR-free herds

Ensure boundaries with neighbouring farms are secure

IML Testing Services

  • Bulk milk antibody ELISA (for dairy herds)
  • Individual cow milk antibody ELISA
  • Individual cow blood antibody ELISA
  • GE antibody ELISA (to differentiate between native infection and GE-deleted vaccines)

N.B. Some multivalent Pneumonia vaccines can contain IBR viral components so be aware of this when using marker vaccines for IBR.

Individual Milk tests can be performed on one milk sample through to a whole herd test. Interested customers can request individual cow tests on their normal milk recording samples taking the hassle out of testing. Alternatively, we will send kits enabling you to take the required number of samples and submit them to the laboratory for testing.

Bulk tests for IBR can be done on an ad-hoc or quarterly basis. The bulk samples can be tested on samples held in the IML fridge or by requesting a bulk milk sample kit.

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To order Individual milk tests for IBR simply ask your milk sampler to fill out a blue form to be included in with you recording samples. For all other herds please call customer services to request sampling pots on 042 96 75 353 or email

To order a IBR bulk milk test please call the IML office along with your Milk Buyer ID on 042 96 75 353 or email

To order a blood test just ask your vet to take a blood sample and submit it to the IML laboratories.


Results are available through normal notification methods. These include post, fax, email or online via the milk quality monitor on Herd Companion.


For ad hoc SCC or constituent testing contact IML