Efficacy of florfenicol in the treatment of experimentally induced infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis

Erica L. Dueger, John A Angelos, Sallie Cosgrove, John Johnson, Lisle W. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective - To evaluate efficacy of florfenicol in an induced model of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis, using a blinded randomized, controlled trial. Animals - 48 male Holstein calves, 2 to 4 months old. Procedure - Moraxella bovis infection was induced in all calves. When corneal ulcers developed, each calf was assigned randomly to 1 of 3 treatment groups, using a block design determined by corneal ulcer size (day 0). Calves were treated with florfenicol (20 mg/kg of body weight, IM) on days 0 and 2 (IM group; n = 16). Calves of a second group received a single dose of florfenicol (40 mg/kg, SC) on day 0 (SC group; n = 16). The third group of calves was not treated (control group; n = 16). Corneal ulcers were photographed, and each calf was assessed for 30 days after treatment for 10 clinical signs of infection. Corneal ulcer surface areas were measured, and clinical scores were calculated. Ocular secretions for microbiologic culture were obtained weekly from each eye. Results - A Cox regression model indicated that, after adjustment for initial ulcer size, healing rates were 6.2 and 4.8 times greater in calves of the IM and SC groups, respectively, compared with the control group. Clinical scores and surface area measurements for treatment groups were significantly smaller than those for controls during posttreatment weeks 1 through 4. From day 8 through day 29, M bovis was isolated from ocular secretions of 14 of 16 control calves and 1 of 32 treated calves. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Parenterally administered florfenicol reduces corneal ulcer healing time, lessens clinical severity, and reduces the amount of bacterial shedding from calves infected with M bovis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-964
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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