Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an important infectious agent of cattle worldwide that affects herd productivity and reproduction. In this systematic review of the impact of BVDV, studies were analysed with a particular focus on the monetary implications and types of direct losses, the initial infection status of herds, production systems, time periods of assessment, calculation level, study types and whether or not country-specific assessments were published. A linear mixed model was applied to analyse factors that influence the level of monetary direct losses due to BVDV infection. The 44 studies included in this review covered 15 countries and assessed direct monetary losses due to BVDV incurred over the past 30 years. Direct losses between and within countries were largely heterogeneous with respect to the monetary level and types of direct losses, ranging from 0.50 to 687.80 US dollars (USD) per animal.(1) Average direct losses per naïve dairy cow were USD24.85 higher than per beef cow. Country-specific assessments of direct losses due to BVDV were provided in 38/44 (86.4%) studies. Mortality, morbidity, premature culling, stillbirths, abortion, reinfection, country and study type had a significant influence on the monetary level of direct losses (r(2) = 0.69). Countries recording direct losses were more likely to carry out voluntary or compulsory control and eradication programmes (odds ratio = 10.2; 95% confidence interval 1.7-81.9; P = 0.004).