The objective of the study was to evaluate treatments for infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), based on a systematic review of the published literature. A search was conducted to identify all manuscripts relating to antibiotic treatment of cattle with IBK. Relevant studies involved naturally occurring IBK and reported the resolution of lesions as a study outcome. Studies which failed to use methods such as blinding, blocking or randomization to minimize bias were excluded from the review. The initial search yielded 196 manuscripts, of which nine described high-quality, randomized clinical trials. These manuscripts reported antibiotic treatment of IBK with florfenicol, ceftiofur, oxytetracycline, procaine penicillin G, procaine penicillin G and dexamethasone, tilmicosin, or benzathine cloxacillin compared to either a placebo control or a non-medicated control. Overall, the studies suggest that antibiotic treatment is successful in reducing healing times of IBK-associated corneal lesions. Very few manuscripts reported a direct comparison of different antibiotic classes, so it was not possible to make comparative evaluations of efficacy. This review demonstrates the need for further randomized controlled trials that evaluate the efficacy of antibiotic treatment for IBK, including direct comparisons of two or more antibiotics.
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