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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Animal Health Genomics » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #408237

Research Project: Strategies to Control Respiratory Diseases of Cattle

Location: Animal Health Genomics

Title: Early detection of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis with artificial intelligence

item GUPTA, SHEKHAR - Myaniml
item Kuehn, Larry
item Clawson, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2023
Publication Date: 12/15/2023
Citation: Gupta, S., Kuehn, L.A., Clawson, M.L. 2023. Early detection of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis with artificial intelligence. Veterinary Research.

Interpretive Summary: Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK), also known as pinkeye, is the most important ocular disease of cattle in the United States and throughout much of the world. Pinkeye is painful, and in some cases can result in scarred corneas and permanent blindness. There are no efficacious vaccines that protect cattle from pinkeye in the field, thus interventions are needed. Cattle muzzles are like human fingerprints, in that they have unique patterns that can be used to identify individuals. However, muzzles appearances can change early in a disease process, and thus be used for disease detection. To combat pinkeye, artificial intelligence (AI) was developed to distinguish the muzzles of cattle with pinkeye cases from those of healthy cattle. In a field test, the AI was able to accurately detect developing pinkeye cases before humans could. Thus, AI could be used as an effective tool to detect pinkeye cases early in the disease process, providing ample time to effectively administer treatment and prevent larger outbreaks.

Technical Abstract: Artificial intelligence (AI) was developed to distinguish cattle by their muzzle patterns and identify early cases of disease, including infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK). It was tested on 870 cattle in four locations, with 170 developing IBK. The AI identified 169 of the 170 cases prior to their identification by veterinarians, and another 17 cases that remained free of IBK signs (sensitivity = 99.4%, specificity = 97.6%). These results indicate the AI can detect emerging pinkeye cases by muzzles images very early in the disease process and be used as an intervention tool in the prevention of IBK outbreaks.