A Protocol for a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Efficacy of Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis and assessment of comprehensiveness of reporting
Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis, commonly known as pinkeye, limits production and weight gain in pre-weaned calves, resulting in significant economic loss each year. IBK is one of the most common diseases in pre-weaned calves which leads to clinical signs from mild conjunctivitis to severe ulceration, corneal perforation, and blindness . Due to large economic losses and limits in production and weaning weight, use of effective vaccines to prevent IBK is imperative.
Moraxella bovis is the primary causal organism of IBK [4, 5]. However, available evidence does not suggest that vaccination is effective for preventing naturally occurring IBK. Although individual studies and a prior review conducted over a decade ago [4, 6, 7] suggested that autogenous and commercial IBK vaccines are not effective, a systematic review of vaccine efficacy has not been conducted recently. Further, the review conducted by Burns and O'Connor (7), was conducted using an approach not consistent with current systematic review quality standards, therefore it is of interest to know if the results of that review are repeatable. In particular, that review found strong evidence of small study effects, and an association failure to report randomization and blinded outcome assessment and vaccine effect size. However, the study did not evaluate the effect of challenge studies, another cause of small study effects The AMSTAR standards  is a frequently used metric for assessing the quality of systematic reviews and the Burns and O'Connor (7) review, of which one of us was the lead author, fails to meet many of those standards.