Following the first diagnosis of campylobacteriosis in Jamaican cattle a field study was undertaken to determine the pathogenicity of Campylobacter fetus subspecies venerealis Jam (Jamaican strain) and to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination in controlling the disease. A total of 46 nonpregnant yearling heifers and four two-year-old bulls were used in two separate experiments. The results showed that C fetus subspecies venerealis Jam readily colonised the reproductive tract of susceptible heifers and persisted in some animals (68 per cent of unvaccinated and 33 per cent of vaccinated animals) for the duration of the experiment. Pregnancy was confirmed in 13 of 18 (72 per cent) culture-negative heifers but in only eight of 28 (29 per cent) of the heifers with two or more positive cultures. Vaccination appeared to be curative because 44 per cent of vaccinated heifers were cleared of infection whereas 85 per cent of unvaccinated, inoculated heifers remained infected for at least 17 weeks. Vaccination improved the fertility level of the infected heifers threefold. Infection was not established in vaccinated bulls used for breeding infected heifers.
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