Sero-prevalence and risk factors of infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (type 1) in Meru County, Kenya

Essau Serem Kipyego, George Gitau, John Vanleeuwen, Peter Kimeli, Tequiero Okumu Abuom, Daniel Gakuya, Joan Muraya, Dennis Makau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the study was to determine the antibody sero-prevalence of Bovine Herpesvirus-1 which cause Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) and to identify risk factors associated with BHV-1 antibody seropositivity among smallholder dairy farms in Meru County, Kenya. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the Naari area of Meru County, Kenya between September–October 2016 and March–April 2017. The 149 farmers were randomly selected from members of the Naari Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society who were actively delivering milk to the society at the time of the study. Serum samples were obtained from 403 female dairy cattle. Farm level management and animal factors were collected through direct interviews with the owner or someone who was knowledgeable about the animals. All serum samples were processed with an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (gB ELISA) to determine the presence of antibodies to BHV-1. The overall farm-level and animal-level sero-prevalences of BHV-1 antibodies were 30.9 % (95 % CI: 23.6%–39.0%) and 17.4 % (95 % CI: 13.8%–21.4%), respectively. In the final multivariable analysis, the factors significantly associated with BHV-1 antibodies included; age of the dairy cattle (OR = 1.200, p = 0.001), age of the principal female farmers (OR = 0.182, p = 0.001) and rearing goats in the farm (OR = 26.77, p = 0.000). There was a significant interaction between rearing goats on the farm and age of the dairy cattle (p < 0.010); younger cattle seemed to have been exposed to BHV or a cross-reacting caprine herpesvirus when goats were on the farm. The results showed that BHV-1 was circulating among the cattle population in the Naari area of Meru County. Given that there is not BHV-1 vaccination use in this study population, training on the importance of biosecurity and vaccination for BHV-1 are recommended to reduce the transmission and impacts of BHV-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104863
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the primary funding program for this research, the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships which are managed through a unique partnership of universities Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and Canadian universities. This program is made possible with financial support from the Government of Canada, provincial governments and the private sector. We also acknowledge the large contribution made by University of Nairobi, volunteers and staff of Farmers Helping Farmers, a non-governmental organization – their existing relationships and agricultural efforts and inputs provided a strong foundation for the work and the entry point to the Naari community. As well, the support of the Naari Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Bovine Herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1)
  • Dairy cattle
  • Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR)
  • Risk factors
  • Sero-prevalence

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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